October 24th, 2020

Sex assault case adjourned to October


By Shurtz, Delon on September 22, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

The case against a 33-year-old Lethbridge man accused of sexually assaulting several women – one of them in 2017 – has been adjourned until next month.

The matter for Sohil Bindra was in Lethbridge provincial court Monday, but adjourned to Oct. 2 so his new lawyer – his third since the beginning of the year – can get up to speed on the case. Calgary lawyer Andre Ouellette, who was only recently appointed by Legal Aid to be Bindra’s lawyer, told court he needs more time to receive disclosure from the Crown’s office.

The matter has been adjourned more than a dozen times since Bindra was arrested in February and initially charged with a single count of housebreaking and two counts of sexual assault in relation to one woman. Although he was released on bail, more charges were added later after five more women came forward and said they had also been sexually assaulted. One of the alleged assaults goes back to July 2017. The accused was taken into custody in March when he attended a court hearing and was subsequently denied bail.

Police reported in March that an 18-year-old woman was sexually assaulted after attending a bar with a friend on Feb. 7. During the evening the pair met a man, and when the 18-year-old suddenly became unwell, he offered to drive the two friends to their homes. After taking the 18-year-old inside, the man left the residence.

He returned a short time later, however, entered the home and sexually assaulted the woman, police said. She was taken to Chinook Regional Hospital for treatment and released later in the day.

Police searched a suspect’s home and recovered evidence related to the offence, including the victim’s cellphone.

Bindra pleaded not guilty March 12 to 14 charges, which comprise housebreaking and commit sexual assault, sexual assault, administering a noxious substance, drug possession and choking with intent to commit an indictable offence. He also faces an additional charge of failing to comply with release conditions.

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