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Accused in Burns Lake sexual assault case pleads guilty to one count

On another ongoing case pre-trial conference for shooting incident
Former Burns Lake Band chief, Robert Charlies entered a guilty plea on the count of sexual interference. (File photo/Lakes District News)

A Burns Lake resident accused in a sexual assault case has plead guilty to one of the two counts he was charged with and will soon appear in court for his sentencing.

Robert Charlie, a former chief of the Burns Lake Band, who was charged with one count of sexual interference and one count of sexual assault, has pleaded guilty to count one, sexual interference during his July 13 appearance.

According to court files, the incidents allegedly took place sometime between 1993 and 1994 inclusive.

Charlie had first appeared in court on Sept. 2, 2021 for a bail hearing. On July 13, Charlie entered a guilty plea on the count of sexual interference while no guilty plea was entered for the sexual assault count.

The next appearance is scheduled for Oct. 28, 2022, to fix a date for sentencing.

Due to a publication ban, the name and details of the complainant in the case will not be published.

In another ongoing Burns Lake case, the accused who was charged for careless use or storage of a firearm after an incident in which a woman was shot, is set to appear for a pre-trial conference.

The accused Clayton Tom, aka Clayton Ceretti, was arrested earlier this year by the Burns Lake RCMP, after they were called to a home in the 2500 Block of Freeport Road where it was reported that a woman had been shot.

Tom’s next appearance is scheduled for Sept. 13, 2022, for a pre-trial conference (PTC).

The purpose of such a conference is to reduce any inefficiencies in the matters of criminal justice. The courts have mandated that all cases must have a pretrial conference before trial dates can be set.

PTCs are conducted to reduce the number of files being set for trial by helping to ensure that only those requiring a trial are actually set for hearing and to manage the files set for trial with accurate time estimates prior to dates being set that would ensure hearings complete on time as scheduled.

As of now, no trial dates have been scheduled for the accused.