Her Majesty the Queen v. R.V.

(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)

(Publication ban in case)


Criminal law – Evidence – Admissibility – Complainant’s sexual activity – Whether s. 276 of the Criminal Code can be used as a discovery tool by which an applicant seeks to discover evidence of a complainant’s prior sexual history – Or, is s. 276 of the Criminal Code a rule of admissibility applicable to screen evidence proffered by an applicant – What must an applicant show to meet the criteria for admissibility set down in s. 276(2) of the Criminal Code.


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R.V. was charged with sexually assaulting and touching the complainant for a sexual purpose when she was under 16 years of age contrary to ss. 271 and 151 of the Criminal Code. The application judge dismissed R.V.’s s. 276 Code application. R.V. asked the trial judge to reconsider the application judge’s s. 276 application decision. The trial judge declined to do so and found that the application judge’s s. 276 ruling was binding on him. R.V. was convicted of sexual interference. The Court of Appeal’s held that both the application judge and the trial judge erred. In the Court of Appeal’s view, the only reasonable outcome in this case would be to allow the cross-examination that R.V. sought to conduct. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, set aside the conviction, and ordered a new trial.

Lower Court Rulings

October 27, 2016
Ontario Court of Justice

Conviction: sexual interference
March 22, 2017
Ontario Court of Justice

See file
June 13, 2018
Court of Appeal for Ontario

2018 ONCA 547, C63495
Appeal allowed, conviction set aside, new trial ordered