Can You Report Sexual Assault Later in BC

December 22nd, 2022
Can You Report Sexual Assault Later in BC

The answer to the question in the title of today’s blog article, is “yes”! There is no statute of limitations on sexual assault, so a victim may report the crime at any time after it occurs, throughout Canada. This is in contrast to the United States where statutes of limitations apply to some sex crimes in some states.

Often, victims of sexual assault do not feel like they can cope with talking to the authorities immediately after the crime occurs, but may feel stronger at a later date. The difficulty—real or perceived--in reporting these crimes is one of the reasons why they are estimated to be vastly underreported. Some estimate that only about 10 percent of sex crimes are reported.

Victims of sexual assault, however, are encouraged to report the crime as soon as possible for a couple of important reasons. One is that when a crime is reported immediately, there is a much greater chance of gathering usable evidence that could be used in court.

Another reason is that the Crown is only going to prosecute a crime if there is a reasonable chance that the accused can be convicted. When crimes are reported a long time after the fact, and gathering evidence or witness statements is compromised, the probability of a successful prosecution drops precipitously. This is why any kind of cold case is so difficult to prosecute.

In any case, if you are charged with sexual assault, whether it is purported to have happened recently or not, please contact Gagan Nahal for a free consultation in Vancouver at (604) 527-4769. Mr. Nahal’s law practice focuses on criminal defence law, he has extensive experience in these areas of the law.


Gagan Nahal is a criminal defence lawyer based in Surrey, British Columbia, although he has represented clients across Canada. He works vigorously and tirelessly defending his clients.


If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to Mr. Nahal, please call him directly at (604) 527-4769.