FASD & the Justice System

R. v. Sinclair, 2013 ABQB 745 (Moen J.) – mens rea

Accused with FASD charged with sexually assaulting 16 yo complainant– sex consensual but for age difference of >5 years – voir dire to admit expert evidence with respect to whether accused’s FASD affected his assessment of reasonable steps required to ascertain the age of the complainant (s. 150.1(4))– court’s assessment of “reasonable steps” is quasi-objective and include factors personal to accused – expert evidence admissible – evidence of expert may assist jury in understanding accused’s subjective state of mind and circumstances at the time of the offence – relevant to whether the accused made all reasonable efforts to ascertain the age of the complainant.