Former Burns Lake mayor Luke Strimbold is facing multiple sex-related criminal charges. (File photo)

Former Burns Lake mayor trial pushed back with more accusers

The case is rescheduled for June 19 in Smithers after RCMP says there may be more victims.

The Crown asked Tuesday that the sexual assault case against former Burns Lake Mayor Luke Strimbold be pushed back until the week of June 18 because of the possibility of additional victims coming forward.

“We have the prospect of additional complainants as we were advised by the RCMP and we have additional discourse,” the Crown’s representative said.

The case was in Smithers Tuesday for an election, the process by which a person charged with an indictable offence, with the exception of treason and murder, chooses whether they will be tried by Provincial Court judge, a Supreme Court judge alone, or a Supreme Court judge and jury.

The defense did not oppose the request for delay.

Strimbold was charged with 24 sex-related crimes, which include sexual assault, in March. Some of the charges are from during his time as mayor.

Many of the alleged victims were under the age of 16 at the time. The victims identities are under a publication ban.

Strimbold was arrested and released from RCMP custody in early February on bail. As a condition of his release the former mayor is banned from public areas where people under 18 years old are nearby.

This is the second time the proceedings have been pushed back. The original court appearance on April 6 was moved to May 15 due to a lack of preparedness from both sides of the trial.

The election has been rescheduled for Tuesday, June 19 at 9 a.m in Smithers.

Strimbold resigned in September 2016, saying he wanted to focus on his business. He was also the BC Liberal Party membership chair for the provincial executive board before the allegations came to light.

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