Her Majesty the Queen v. Ryan Jarvis
(Ontario) (Criminal) (As of Right)
(Publication ban in case)
Criminal law - Elements of offence - Criminal law - Voyeurism - Elements of offence - Reasonable expectation of privacy - Whether majority of Court of Appeal erred in concluding that visual recordings of students were not made in circumstances that give rise to reasonable expectation of privacy as required by s. 162(1) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46.
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Mr. Jarvis, a high school teacher, was charged with voyeurism under s. 162(1)(c) of the Criminal Code for having used a camera pen to surreptitiously take videos of female students which focused on their chests and cleavage area. An offence is committed under s. 162(1)(c) when someone surreptitiously observes or makes a visual recording of a person who is in circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy, if such observation or recording is done for a sexual purpose. Mr. Jarvis was acquitted at trial. The trial judge concluded that the students had a reasonable expectation of privacy, but he was not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the videos were done for a sexual purpose. The Crown appealed the acquittal. The majority in the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. Although it was of the view that the trial judge erred in finding that the videos were not made for a sexual purpose, it concluded that the trial judge also erred in finding that the videos were taken in circumstances that gave rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy. Huscroft J.A., dissenting, would have allowed the appeal and entered a conviction. He agreed with the majority that the trial judge erred in finding that the videos were not made for a sexual purpose, but, in his opinion, the students did have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the circumstances of this case.
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