Supreme Court affirms escort service convictions in case that hinged on timing

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the convictions of two men arising from their operation of an escort service, settling a dispute over validity of the law when the offences took place.

In its 7-2 decision today, the high court says the Criminal Code provision under which the men were convicted was in effect at the time of the offences, despite having been found unconstitutional.

In a landmark 2013 decision, the Supreme Court declared the provision against living on the avails of sex work to be overbroad and in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

However, the top court suspended the declaration of invalidity for one year, to end on Dec. 20, 2014, giving Parliament time to pass a new law if it wished.

Kasra Mohsenipour and Tamim Albashir were convicted in 2018 of several offences related to their operation of an escort service, including living on the avails of sex work, during 2014.

The trial judge quashed the counts of living on the avails because of the Supreme Court's declaration of unconstitutionality, but the British Columbia Court of Appeal overturned the decision and entered convictions for the men.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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