Ontario Sex Offenders Registry | Toronto Criminal Lawyers
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Ontario Sex Offender Registry

The Ontario Sex Offender Registry (OSOR) is also known as “Christopher’s Law.”

The History of OSOR

Christopher’s Law was created in the aftermath of an abduction and murder of an 11-year-old named Christopher Stephenson by a convicted sex offender. It was after this event, that the Solicitor General of Canada, Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General, police, and other appropriate bodies agreed to establish a registry of convicted, high-risk, and dangerous offenders.

The purpose was to deter repeat sex offenses from happening. This registry would require these offenders to be listed and categorized based on the regions in which they live in. Studies have shown that in most child abduction cases, the offender and the victim’s initial contact occurs a quarter mile from the victim’s last location. Thus, by having them registered in a directy based on region, investigators are able to investigate, monitor, and locate sex offenders more easily.

Who must register?

Any person who is resident in Ontario and has been:

  • Convicted anywhere in Canada of a “sex offence” as defined in Christopher’s Law
  • Found not criminally responsible (NCR) for a “sex offence” by reason of mental disorder and given an absolute or conditional discharge
  • Made subject to an obligation to report under the federal Sex Offender Information Registration Act and the related Criminal Code provisions in relation to a secondary offence (e.g. murder)
  • Made subject to a reporting obligation under the federal Sex Offender Information Registration Act and the related Criminal Code provisions (Form 54) in relation to a conviction for an offence outside of Canada that is determined to be equivalent to a sex offence in Canada
  • Made subject to an obligation under section 36.1 of the International Transfer of Offenders Act (Form 1)

The above would also apply to young persons who are resident in Ontario if they were convicted of a “sex offence” and tried or sentenced as an adult for that offense.

Reporting period

An offender has a reporting obligation of:

  • 10 years – if the maximum sentence is less than 10 years and conviction is for only one sex offence
  • Life – if convicted of more than one sex offence or a single offence for which the maximum sentence is more than 10 years

Penalties for non-compliance

First Offence:

  • A fine not more than $25,000; and/or imprisonment of not more than one year (or both)

Subsequent Offence:

  • A fine not more than $25,000; and/or imprisonment not more than two years less a day (or both)

Offender reporting requirements

Any offender convicted of a criteria sex offence must register in person with their local police jurisdiction;

Initially within seven days:

  • After completing a custodial sentence for the offence
  • Upon conviction, if not given custodial sentence for the offence
  • After being found NCR due to mental disorder and given an absolute or conditional discharge for the offence
  • After becoming subject to an obligation under section 490.02901 CC (Form 54)
  • After becoming subject to an obligation under section 36.1 of the International Transfer of Offenders Act (Form 1)

Subsequently an offender must register within seven days:

  • After any change of address
  • After becoming a resident of Ontario
  • After changing a given or surname
  • If outside of Ontario when required to report, after the offender returns to Ontario
  • Seven days prior to ceasing to be a resident of Ontario

Annually between the 11th & 12th month after the offender last reported.

General information about the registry

The OSOR Includes information such as:

  • Name – including current, former and any aliases
  • Valid proof of identity
  • Main and secondary addresses – of any residence, place of employment, education institution attended and volunteer organization attended
  • Telephone numbers
  • Physical description – including height, weight, build, gender, race, scars/tattoos/birthmarks
  • Current and historical photographs of the offender and their scars, marks and tattoos
  • Sex offences(s) for which the offender has been convicted
  • Any vehicle owned, leased, registered to or regularly driven by the offender.

What are the sex offences to which Christopher’s Law applies?

The following offences are included in the definition of “sex offence” in Christopher’s Law:

  • Offence in relation to sexual offences against children
  • Sexual interference
  • Invitation to sexual touching
  • Sexual exploitation (age 14 to under 18)
  • Sexual exploitation of person with disability
  • Incest
  • Bestiality
  • Compelling bestiality
  • Bestiality in presence of or by a child
  • Voyeurism
  • Child pornography (all subsections)
  • Access child pornography
  • Parent or guardian procuring sexual activity
  • Luring a child by means of computer system
  • Exposure to person under age 14
  • Stupefying or overpowering for the purpose of sexual intercourse
  • Living on the avails of prostitution of a person under 18
  • Aggravated offence – living on the avails of prostitution of a person under 18
  • Obtaining prostitution of person under 18
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm
  • Aggravated sexual assault – use of firearm
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Removal of child from Canada

Does the public have access to the OSOR?

The public does not have access to the OSOR. This contributes to a consistently high offender compliance rate resulting in increased accuracy and integrity of the data on the OSOR. This enhances public safety for Ontarians by providing police with the ability to have more accurate information about registered sex offenders.

Police have direct access to the OSOR 24 hours a day, seven days a week, improving their ability to investigate sex-related crimes as well as monitor and locate sex offenders in the community.

Management of the registry

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) manages and maintains the OSOR on behalf of the ministry from OPP General Headquarters in Orillia.

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