R. v. Haniffa, 2021 ONCA 3262022 SCC 46 (39803)

“H was 1 of 104 people arrested over the course of “Project Raphael”, an online investigation conducted by the York Regional Police that targeted the buyer side of the juvenile sex work market. In 2016, while browsing the escort subdirectory of Backpage.com, H responded to an ad placed by an undercover officer posing as “Jamie”. Communicating with H by text, “Jamie” eventually revealed that “she” was 15 years old. When H arrived at a designated hotel room to meet “Jamie”, he was arrested and charged with three offences under ss. 172.1(1)(a), 172.1(1)(b) and s. 286.1(2) of the Criminal Code. He was convicted at trial of all counts but applied for a stay of proceedings based on entrapment. The application judge dismissed the application, concluding Project Raphael was a bona fide inquiry. The Court of Appeal dismissed H’s appeal.”

The SCC (9:0) dismissed the appeal. 

Justice Karakatsanis wrote as follows (at paras. 7-8):

“In this appeal, Mr. Haniffa adopts the questions in issue as set out in the appellant’s factum in Ramelson, and acknowledges that “the facts of the present case are sufficiently similar, so that the same conclusions must follow” (A.F., at para. 41). Many of his arguments mirror those raised in Ramelson, but he raises some additional points. Inspector Truong’s evidence, he says, was insufficient to ground reasonable suspicion: it was based too heavily on his personal experiences, failed to show the targeted offences were prevalent, and failed to explain how a user would actually locate a juvenile sex worker through the website, given its parameters. And given the potential breadth of investigations into spaces, the police should be limited, in the context of bona fide inquiries, to offering the same offences they suspect are occurring; they should not be entitled to offer those that are only rationally connected and proportionate (see R. v. Mack, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 903, at p. 958). For the reasons given in Ramelson, I would not accede to these arguments. As I explained there, the police had reasonable suspicion over a sufficiently precise space and the Mack standard of “rationally connected and proportionate” applies and was satisfied. Project Raphael was thus a bona fide inquiry. I conclude that Mr. Haniffa was not entrapped.”