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CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Disorderly houses, and gaming and betting

Wednesday, July 08, 2020 @ 9:33 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Appeal by the Crown from the quashing of the respondents’ convictions for living on the avails of prostitution as unconstitutional. From 2014 to 2016, the respondents operated an escort operation in which several complainants provided sexual services to clients for money while the respondents financed and orchestrated logistics. They collected the proceeds derived from the operation and paid the complainants after deducting their percentage of the profits. The trial judge found the respondents factually guilty but relied on Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford to find s. 212(1)(j) of the Criminal Code was unconstitutional. The counts alleged the conduct were committed while the suspension of the declaration of invalidity imposed by Bedford was in effect. The charges were sworn after the suspension period expired. Remedial legislation was enacted prior to the expiration of the suspension period.

HELD: Appeal allowed; convictions were entered. The conduct engaged in by the respondents was not immune to criminal liability simply because it occurred during the suspended declaration of invalidity and for which charges were laid after. During the suspension period of the declaration of invalidity imposed in Bedford, s. 212(1)(j) was constitutionally valid. As remedial legislation was enacted, the declaration of invalidity never came into effect to render the provision a nullity ab initio. The trial judge erred in quashing the counts. As agreed by the parties, a sentence of three years’ imprisonment was imposed on Albashir and 30 months’ imprisonment on Mohsenipour, concurrent to the sentences passed on the other convictions.

R. v. Albashir, [2020] B.C.J. No. 909, British Columbia Court of Appeal, M.E. Saunders, H. Groberman and E.A. Bennett JJ.A., June 8, 2020. Digest No. TLD-July62020006