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

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Central Saanich to formally inform Agricultural Land Commission about soccer pitch proposal

Move is meant for information only with no application having come forward yet

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read