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 pleads guilty to four sex assault charges

Luke Strimbold to be sentenced at a later date, tentatively set for Sept. 23

Luke Strimbold has pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual assault against four individuals in B.C. Supreme Court in Smithers.

Strimbold, once the mayor of Burns Lake, 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 informed the Court the remaining 25 counts would be stayed following sentencing.

The four counts to which Strimbold pleaded guilty were amended prior to the pleas to change the dates making them global charges for multiple incidents 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 individual was assaulted between July 1 and July 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.

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.

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

Strimbold 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

Convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams to return to B.C. court in July

Catherine Adams is under a 20-year ban on owning animals, from a 2015 sentence in Smithers

Share the road goes both ways

Bad cycling is a hazard to both cyclists and drivers

Alfred sentenced to nine months for sexual interference

Defence says its time to stop jailing Indigenous people

Don’t judge until you’ve ridden in another’s seat

Trevor thinks there’s plenty of blame on both sides of the cyclist-motorist divide

Recycling to go temporarily to dump

The recycling depot fire is out, but burning questions on the town’s future recycling plans remain

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read