Course on consent, sex offence laws helps Lambton teens

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Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative

Lambton OPP say a voluntary program to divert teens charged with ‘minor’ sexual offences from the legal system is “so far a success.”

Three youth have been diverted from the court system in the last nine months under Project One in Three, said Darryl Manley, of the Lambton OPP told members of the Lambton Group Police Services Board Feb. 21.

The program is administered by Sarnia-Lambton Rebound for teen boys between the ages of 12 and 17.

Manley said this is an eight week program, where the courts can divert teens involved in minor sexual offences such as sharing intimate images, non-penetrative touching, sexual harassment or invitation to touching. They must have not been a part of a court diversion program before and the victim has to agree the accused can take the program.

Manley says the program covers such topics as sexual offences, consent, laws surrounding sexual offences, digital offences, pornography and distribution.

It was started in partnership with Sarnia-Lambton Rebound, Lambton OPP, Sexual Assault Survivors Centre and Youth Probation.

“So far it is a success,” said Manley. There is also a voluntary program, where anyone can recommend a youth to participate. This is a much shorter program, but covers a lot of the same topics.

Manley said the name Project One in Three, is a nod to the fact that as many as one in three people will be victims of some kind of abuse in their lifetime.

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