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

Bride thankful ailing stepdad was able to walk her down the aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Province pays $4.08 million for hotel to house fire victims

The Government of B.C. has purchased a new building to help people… Continue reading

Destination Campbell River relieved after receiving $65,400 provincial grant

The grant will help cover the peak-season operational losses during May to October and help in recovery efforts

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on a rare show near Campbell River

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a local tour operator’s boat for quite some time

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Most Read