VICTORIA – A special prosecutor in British Columbia has approved 29 sex-related charges against Luke Strimbold, the former mayor of Burns Lake.
Dan McLaughlin with the B.C. Prosecution Service says the charges are sexual assault, sexual interference or invitation to sexual touching, allegedly involving six people all under the age of 16 at the time.
Special prosecutor Leonard Doust took over the case in March when 24 charges were laid because Strimbold was a former mayor and had connections to the B.C. Liberal Party.
A prosecution service news release issued Thursday says Doust declined to approve one charge sworn by RCMP involving a complainant, saying the charge assessment standard was not met.
However, the service says Doust approved further sex-related charges involving three additional complainants.
None of the allegations has been proven against Strimbold, who is scheduled to appear in B.C. Supreme Court in Smithers on Oct. 1.
The special prosecutor has chosen to go to trial by direct indictment, avoiding the need for a preliminary inquiry into the case.
Strimbold served as membership chair for the B.C. Liberal Party but resigned in March both from the executive and as a member of the party.
When he was elected as the mayor of Burns Lake in 2011, Strimbold was the youngest mayor in B.C. history at the age of 21.
He was re-elected in 2014, but resigned two years later, saying he wanted to further his education.