THE OPERATION: Beware of an operation being conducted by York Regional Police called Project Raphael. It’s stated intention is to catch those actively seeking underage sex. It seems to be casting a very broad net.
THE METHOD: The method is to bait a target who is seeking adult prostitution services by posting an advertisement for adult sexual services in Backpages, Kijiji or a similar online service. When a target responds to the ad it is to a police officer who switches the age and poses as a female under the age of 18 years, specifically either 15 or 16 years old. All communication is exclusively by text. The officer refuses to confirm anything by voice. The order is to “arrest on knock”. When the target arrives at the hotel/motel room they are immediately arrested, handcuffed, charged with a number of sexual offences and held for a bail hearing.
THE CHARGES: Offences routinely charged are “child luring” and “obtaining sexual services under 18 for consideration” both of which carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year in jail up to 10 years in jail. Both offences require registration as a sex offender for up to 20 years.
THE LAW: Firstly you need to know that communication for the purpose of engaging in prostitution is a criminal offence. If it is with an adult there is a mandatory minimum sentence of a $500 fine, which also means you will acquire a mandatory criminal record.
Secondly you need to know that the age of sexual consent is 16 years unless it is for the purpose of prostitution in which case if the person is under the age of 18 it is a criminal offence with a mandatory sentence of imprisonment from 6 months to 10 years and you will be registered as a sexual offender.
Thirdly if the fictitious person says they are underage then in the eyes of the law it is presumptive proof of that age.
Fourthly it does not matter what the real age of the person is or even whether such a person actually exists.
BE AWARE AND BE CAREFUL