Erhard Haniffa v. His Majesty The King
(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)
Canadian charter (Criminal) - Right to be tried within a reasonable time (s. 11(b)), Criminal law, Abuse of process - Criminal law — Abuse of process — Entrapment — Luring — Whether, in light of R. v. Ahmad, 2020 SCC 11, Project Raphael was a bona fide police inquiry — What is the proper analysis to be applied in determining whether a virtual space is sufficiently precisely and narrowly defined to meet the standard of a bona fide inquiry?.
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The appellant, Erhard Haniffa, was arrested charged with offences under ss. 172.1(1)(a) (child luring under 18), 172.1(1)(b) (child luring under 16), and 286.1(2) (communicating to obtain sexual services from a minor) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46. The charges arose out of “Project Raphael”, designed by the York Regional Police — an undercover investigation that began in 2014 with the objective of reducing the demand for sexual services from juveniles in the region by targeting the “buyer side”. As part of the investigation, the police posted fake advertisements in the “escorts” section of the online classified advertising website Backpage.com. When individuals responded to the ads, an undercover officer posing as an escort would disclose in the ensuing text chat that “she” was underage. Individuals who continued the chat and arranged sexual services and a price were directed to a hotel room to complete the transaction; they were then arrested and charged on their arrival.
The trial judge found the appellant guilty on all three counts. In a post-trial application, the trial judge stayed the conviction under s. 172.1(1)(a) (child luring under 18) pursuant to Kienapple v. The Queen,  1 S.C.R. 729. The appellant’s application for a stay of proceedings on the basis of entrapment was dismissed as was his appeal from the dismissal of the entrapment application.
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