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

Strimbold scheduled to plead Feb. 25

Former Burns Lake mayor charged with multiple under-age sexual assault charges in Smithers court.

Former Burns Lake Mayor Luke Strimbold is scheduled to make a plea in Smithers court Feb. 25.

Court dates have also been booked for any potential trial starting on Aug. 19 and continuing as late as Aug. 30, according to staff at the courthouse.

Strimbold was at B.C. Supreme Court in Smithers Dec. 20, a day earlier than originally scheduled.

Special prosecutor Leonard Doust has recently withdrawn from the case for personal reasons.

Richard Peck, a senior Vancouver lawyer in private practice, has been appointed as the new special prosecutor. He has been given a mandate to conduct an independent review and assessment of the current charges, provide legal advice to the investigative agency as required, and conduct the continuation of the prosecution and any subsequent appeal.

READ MORE: New special prosecutor assigned to oversee former Burns Lake mayor’s case

The former mayor is facing 11 counts of sexual assault, 11 counts of sexual inference and seven counts of invitation to sexual touching.

The charges relate to six male teens who were between the ages of 13 and 15 at the time of the alleged assaults. The teens have accused Strimbold of fondling their genitals, performing and receiving oral sex and anal penetration.

Strimbold’s lawyer Stan Tessmer points out that no allegations have been proved in court.

“People shouldn’t judge based on unknown and unsubstantiated allegations,” he told Lakes District News.

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