Giovanni D'Amico v. Her Majesty the Queen

(Quebec) (Criminal) (By Leave)

(Publication ban in case)


Constitutional law - Canadian charter (Criminal), Search and seizure (s. 8), Remedy - Constitutional law — Charter of Rights — Search and seizure — Remedy — Whether police conduct in obtaining applicant’s DNA violated his right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure pursuant to s. 8 of the Charter — Whether the State’s treatment of the applicant’s DNA samples violated his right to be secure from unreasonable search or seizure pursuant to s. 8 of the Charter — If the applicant’s s. 8 rights were infringed, whether the DNA evidence should be excluded pursuant to s. 24(2) of the Charter.


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.


Mr. D’Amico, applicant, was convicted of assault, sexual assault and sexual assault causing bodily harm in relation to four female prostitutes. When the police suspected his involvement in the assaults, they set up an undercover operation and ultimately obtained his used coffee cup. From the cup, Mr. D’Amico’s DNA was extracted and then analyzed. The analysis revealed a match to the DNA recovered from two of the assaulted women. The matches, along with other evidence, led police to successfully obtain a DNA warrant which ultimately confirmed the previous findings. At trial, Mr. D’Amico unsuccessfully applied to have the DNA evidence excluded. The trial judge found that Mr. D’Amico had relinquished any expectation of privacy in his DNA because he had abandoned his coffee cup. She also found nothing in the police’s method in collecting the coffee cup to have infringed Mr. D’Amico’s s. 7 or 8 Charter rights. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.