Luke Strimbold, right, enters the Smithers courthouse on May 6, 2019 with his lawyer Stan Tessmer, to plead guilty to four sexual assault charges. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Former Burns Lake mayor pleads guilty to four sex assault charges

Luke Strimbold to be tentatively sentenced in September

Former Burns Lake mayor Luke Strimbold pleaded guilty on Monday to four counts of sexual assault against four individuals in B.C. Supreme Court in Smithers.

Strimbold had faced 29 charges including sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching involving boys under the age of 16, stemming from alleged incidents from May 2009 to July 2017.

READ MORE: Former B.C. mayor facing sex charges involving minors during time in office

“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,” said his lawyer, Stan Tessmer, in a statement.

At the behest of both the Crown and defence, Justice Wendy Baker ordered a pre-sentence report with a psychological evaluation and tentatively scheduled sentencing for Sept. 23. Prosecutor Jeff Campbell said the remaining 25 counts would be stayed following sentencing.

The four counts to which Strimbold pleaded guilty were amended prior to the pleas, making them what’s known as “global charges” for multiple incidents over a period of years that occurred with each of the four victims.

For the first victim, the incidents occurred between May 1, 2016 and Aug. 31 2017. The second person was assaulted between July 1-31, 2016. Dates for the third victim ranged from Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2017. For the final victim, the dates were May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2017. Some of the incidents occurred while he was still in office.

READ MORE: Former Burns Lake mayor faces 10 new sex-related charges

Strimbold was stoic, confident and polite during the proceeding. Some members of the gallery were visibly distressed as they left the courtroom.

Strimbold was elected mayor in 2011 at the age of 21, the youngest person to be elected to the position of mayor in B.C. In 2013, he was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for community service. He was re-elected in 2014, and BC Business Magazine named him one of the Top 30 leaders under the age of 30 for his work diversifying the economy in the Burns Lake area following the collapse of the forestry industry.

He stepped down abruptly, both as mayor and membership chair for the BC Liberal Party, in 2016, saying he wanted to further his education and spend more time with his family.

He was arrested and charged in February 2018.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Storied coach brings European Football School to Williams Lake Youth Soccer Association players

The Esler Soccer Field was filled with Cariboo players for the 15th European Football School

Williams Lake hires former Olympian as director of community services

With a starting date of Aug. 12, Ian James will replace Geoff Paynton who left on July 5

Agriculture water, land-use survey crew on task in Cariboo region

Travelling in a blue Ford F150, the team of three are doing inventory

Crime severity index sees Williams Lake seventh place

In the past Williams Lake was top for severity, but that has been trending down since 2016

Wet’suwet’en clan launches civil lawsuit against Coastal GasLink

Gidimt’en seeking damages and costs over destruction of logging road encampment and gate

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

Most Read