Luke Strimbold, right, enters the Smithers courthouse May 6 with his lawyer Stan Tessmer, to plead guilty to four sexual assault charges. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Former Burns Lake mayor to be sentenced for sex crimes against minors

Luke Strimbold pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual assault involving boys in May

Former Burns Lake mayor Luke Strimbold is scheduled to be sentenced in his sex crimes case Tuesday at B.C. Supreme Court in Smithers.

Strimbold, who, at the age of 21 became the youngest person elected as a mayor in B.C. in 2011, pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual assault on May 6.

The Crown had originally approved 29 charges against Strimbold for offences including sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching involving boys under the age of 16 that allegedly occurred between May 2014 and September 2017.

Prior to the plea hearing, the four counts to which Strimbold pleaded guilty had been amended as part of a plea deal to make them global charges covering multiple incidents with each of four victims.

Prosecutor Jeff Campbell said the remaining 25 counts would be stayed following sentencing.

After entering the guilty pleas, defence attorney Stan Tessmer said his client was deeply remorseful for the acts.

“Mr. Strimbold chose not to go to trial so everyone involved can begin the healing process and that the four individuals and the community can start to move forward,” Tessmer said. “He wants these boys not to feel guilty about what happened, and for them to know it’s not their fault.”

Justice Wendy Baker ordered a pre-sentence report with a psychological evaluation and tentatively scheduled sentencing for Sept. 23, but that date was changed to Nov. 25 to accommodate court scheduling issues.


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