What are the potential outcomes? 

After you have finished testifying, the Crown Attorney may have other witnesses to call. When all prosecution witnesses have testified, the defence may choose to have the accused or other witnesses testify, although there is no requirement for the defence to do so. You may or may not be allowed to sit in the courtroom to listen to the other witnesses testify once you have given your evidence. This will depend on whether the Crown Attorney thinks it is likely you may have to testify again to respond to some evidence from a defence witness. 

Once all witnesses have testified and the Crown Attorney and defence counsel have made their final arguments, the judge or jury will render a verdict. The verdict will be “guilty” or “not guilty” of the offence or offences charged. It is also possible that the accused could be found “not guilty” of the offence charged but “guilty” of a lesser charge included in the offence facing the accused.

Please note: That the Crown Attorney has to prove the case against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. The Crown and your VWAP worker will explain to you what this means and what it means if the accused is found guilty or not guilty. 

If the accused is found guilty of one or more offences, the trial moves into the sentencing phase. This is where the judge decides the consequences for the accused. A judge can order probation, a jail sentence to be served intermittently (on weekends) and/or a jail sentence that is service in a reformatory (less than two years) or a penitentiary (more than two years). 

Sometimes sentencing will happen immediately after a verdict is handed down, but more often than not, the sentencing will be scheduled for a later date to allow the lawyers an opportunity to prepare their sentencing arguments and/or for the preparation of a Pre-Sentence Report (a report written for the judge by a probation officer about the accused). 

If the accused is found not guilty of the offence(s) then the court case is complete unless the case is appealed. The accused can normally leave the courtroom. 

The accused or the Crown can appeal the outcome of the case and/or the sentence. One of the outcomes of an appeal is that the court may order a new trial.

Will I have a chance to tell the court how the crime has affected me? 

If the accused is found guilty of an offence, you have the right to tell the court how the crime has affected you in what is called a “Victim Impact Statement."  That right is provided for by the Criminal Code of Canada and the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights. 

You have the right to prepare and file with the court a Victim Impact Statement that describes the physical or emotional harm you have suffered as a result of the offender’s crime along with details of any property damage (e.g., cell phone broken during the assault) or economic loss (e.g., time you had to miss from work) you have experienced. You should not give your opinion on what the sentence should be unless you have permission from the judge. The Victim Impact Statement may be the only opportunity you will have to tell the court and the offender how you have been harmed by the crime. 

The Victim Impact Statement can be filed with the court for the judge to read before deciding on the sentence or you can read the statement in court yourself or with a support person if you choose to do so. Whatever way the Victim Impact Statement is presented, the sentencing judge is required to consider it when determining the proper sentence for the offender. Your VWAP worker will provide you with a blank Victim Impact Statement form and will explain how to complete it. The VWAP worker will also explain where and how to submit your form once completed. Your worker will also discuss your options as to how the statement can be presented to the sentencing judge. 

For certain financial losses that resulted because of the sexual assault, you also have the right to request restitution (ask the judge to order the accused to pay you for the financial losses you suffered as a result of the crime). A judge is required to consider whether to order restitution as part of sentencing. If you wish to request restitution, your VWAP worker can provide you with a Statement on Restitution form. Your VWAP worker will explain what types of financial losses may be eligible and what documents you need to attach to the form to prove your losses. It is important that you keep copies of receipts for your losses, such as medical or counselling invoices. 

Please note: A copy of your Victim Impact Statement and your request for restitution will be shared with the accused in advance of the sentencing hearing. 

Will I receive support during this time? 

As during the other phases of the trial, support is available for you after you have testified. If you are excluded from the courtroom during the remainder of the evidence following your testimony because you may need to be called to testify again, your VWAP worker will keep you advised of the progress of the trial. You will be permitted to be in the courtroom during the final arguments of the lawyers and when the verdict is handed down by the judge or the jury. 

Whether the accused is found guilty or not guilty, your VWAP worker and the Crown Attorney will discuss the outcome, explain the sentence, provide court documents, and discuss possible next steps. If there is an appeal of the outcome or the sentence, you will be updated and provided with support by VWAP through that process. 

If the offender is sentenced to jail, you can receive updates and get notified if the offender is released by registering with: 

· the Victim Notification Service toll-free at 1-888-579-2888, if the offender is provincially incarcerated; or 

· Correctional Services Canada and the Parole Board of Canada through the Victim’s Portal at https://victimsportal-portailvictimes.csc-scc.gc.ca/Main/Welcome or by calling toll-free at 

1-866-806-2275, if the offender is federally incarcerated.

Where can I get more information? 

For more information about programs and services available in your community contact the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888  or in Kingston, Victim Services 613-548-4834 (Monday –Friday 8:30-4:30) or after hours, Kingston Police 613-549-4660 and ask to the have someone from the Victim Services call you.

If I have concerns, where can I raise them? 

As mentioned earlier in this resource, you have the right to raise concerns when you think you’re your rights have not been upheld, or when you have concerns about the services you received and/or how you were treated. Below is a general overview of how and where concerns can be raised in different situations. 

For concerns about victim service programs and/or workers: 

1. Try to resolve the issue informally with the person/agency involved by speaking with the individual and/or his/her manager. 

2. If you would still like to pursue the matter, call the Victim Support Line at 1-888-579-2888 and ask to be directed to someone who can help address your concerns. 

For concerns about police officers or police services: 

1. Try to resolve the issue informally with the person/agency involved by speaking with the individual and/or his/her manager. 

2. If you would still like to pursue the matter, you can contact the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, which oversees the investigation of public complaints against Ontario’s police. The Office of the Independent Police Review Director is separate from the government, the police and the community, and is staffed entirely by civilians (non-police officers). You can register a complaint by telephone at 1-877-411-4773 or online at www.oiprd.on.ca (click on the “Complaints” at the top of the page, and then “Make a Complaint”). 

For concerns about a Crown Attorney: 

1. Try to resolve the issue informally with the Crown Attorney and/or his/her manager. 

2. Call the Victim Support Line at 1-888-579-2888 for information on the process and contact details for the Crown attorney’s manager. You can also find the manager through the Ministry of the Attorney General’s website at www.ontario.ca/attorneygeneral (click on “Court Services” and then “Address and Phone Information for Courthouses in Ontario”). 

For concerns about Ontario Government programs: 

If you do not feel that your concerns have been addressed, or for concerns about other government services, you can contact Ombudsman Ontario, who investigates complaints from the public about services provided by the Government of Ontario. You can register a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman Ontario by telephone or through the Office’s website.