The Nelson Police Department has charged four males with sexual offences against girls as young as 12 in what they describe as a “disturbing” trend.
In a news release, Sgt. Paul Burkart said they have investigated a number of complaints over the past seven months about older teenage boys or young men having sex with younger girls who “are, by law, too young to provide consent.”
Sex without consent is sexual assault, Burkart says. “Where these young victims are [under] 16, the offence would be, more specifically, sexual interference.”
The charges laid result from four unrelated investigations. Two of the accused teens are 16 while the others are 19 and 20. The victims’ ages weren’t immediately available, but the youngest is 12.
“Nelson Police find this trend very disturbing,” Burkart said. “We see this behavior by these males as nothing short of predatory.”
Sexual interference carries minimum sentences under the Criminal Code: 14 days in jail for a summary conviction, and 45 days for an indictable conviction.
Two accused have court dates on July 26, while the others will appear tomorrow and August 9.
It wasn’t immediately known whether the victims themselves complained nor whether the charges relate to single incidents or ongoing relationships.