Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles May 20,  2011

The abduction and murder of 11 year-old Christopher Stephenson on June 18, 1988 and the subsequent coroner’s inquest resulted in the creation of the Ontario Sex Offender Registry. The registry requires that convicted, dangerous, high-risk sex offenders, register with police in the jurisdiction where the offender will reside or is residing. Ontario proclaimed Christopher Law (Sex Offender Registry) on April 23, 2001 and was the first such registry in Canada.

The actions of sex offenders have a profound and long lasting impact on the victims and communities. Data indicates that investigation of child abduction for sexual purpose warrants rapid response.  OSOR information improves the ability of police to investigate sex related crimes and locate the offender quickly. OSOR also helps to monitor and locate sex offenders in the community.

Who must register with OSOR?

Any Ontario resident, who has been:

  • Convicted anywhere in Canada of a “sex offence” as defined in Christopher’s Law
  • Found not criminally responsible for a “sex offence” by reason of mental disorder and given an absolute or conditional discharge
  • Made subject to an obligation to report under the federal Sex Offender Information Registration Act and the related criminal code provisions in relation to secondary provisions (e.g. murder)
  • Made subject to a reporting obligation under the federal Sex Offender Information Registration Act and the related Criminal Code Provisions (Form 54) in relation to a conviction for an offence outside of Canada that is determined to be equivalent to a sex offence in Canada
  • Made subject to an obligation under section 36.1 of the International Transfer of Offenders Act (Form 1)

The above would also apply to young Ontario residents if they were convicted of a sex offense and tried or sentenced as an adult for that offence.

What information is stored at the registry?

  • Current, former names and aliases, valid proof of identity, physical description, (including height, weight, build, gender, race, scars/tattoos/birth marks), and photographs of current self and description including scars, tattoos, birthmarks
  • Main and secondary addresses of any residence and telephone numbers
  • Place of employment, education institution attended and volunteer organizations
  • Sex offences for which the offender is convicted
  • Any vehicle owned, leased, registered to or regularly driven by the offender
  • Any changes of the temporary or permanent residence are required to be reported within days of change and annually

Who has access to the Registry?

The Ontario Provincial Police manages and maintains the OSOR on behalf of the Ministry from OPP General Head Quarters in Orillia and is accessible to the police. The Police Services Act empowers the local police chief to publicly disclose information about offenders considered to be a significant risk to a community in accordance with the Act and its regulations.

Reporting Obligation:

  • 10 years – if the maximum sentence is less than 10 years and conviction is for only one sex offence
  • Life – If convicted of more than one sex offence or a single offence for which the maximum sentence is more than 10 years


If you are a registered sex offender and in need of assistance from a criminal lawyer, contact Donna V. Pledge at 416 630 8702 today.