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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Williams Lake aims to hire own archaeologist

Mayor Walt Cobb said the hope is archaelogical assessments will be done in a timely fashion

Williams Lake teens organize protest in support of Black Lives Matter

Everyone is welcome to join in the protest which will get underway at 2 p.m.

Williams Lake RCMP capture fugitive walking along Highway 97 in city limits

Witness said they could hear police yelling for suspect to ‘get down’

Disaster recovery resources available for CRD residents impacted by flooding

Deadline is Aug. 5, 2020 to apply for disaster financial assistance

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Most Read