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- It is third degree sexual offense (a felony, for which you can go to prison for up to 10 years) to engage in sexual contact with someone under the age of 14, if you are at least 4 years older than the victim.

29-Jun-2010 Every parent knows the worry that comes when teenage children fall in love.

The bill is intended to target sexual predators, but many youth advocates say that by focusing on age, the new law will confuse teens, make their sexual activities more clandestine and expose them to other risks, including abuse, early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

"When you call it the age of consent, that's misleading to kids, who will think it's not permitted, that it's a crime to be sexually active before the age of 16," says Martha Mackinnon, the executive director of Justice for Children and Youth, a Toronto legal aid clinic serving low-income youth.

The crimes related to “sexual act” and “sexual contact” are listed below the table.

The crimes and penalties may be harsher if the victim did not consent, if the victim was physically or mentally handicapped, or in other specific cases.

It is not a crime for youth under 16 to engage in sexual activity, she points out.

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