By Shurtz, Delon on November 11, 2020.
A 33-year-old Lethbridge man accused of sexually assaulting several women is set to stand trial for two weeks in the new year.
During a brief hearing Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court, Calgary lawyer Andre Ouellette said his client, Sohil Bindra, will be tried by a provincial court judge March 8-19, 2021.
The case has been adjourned numerous times after Bindra fired two previous lawyers. Additional adjournments were necessary after Ouellette went on the record in September but needed time to receive and review a “voluminous amount of disclosure.
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, who appeared in court Tuesday by closed-circuit TV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, initially faced a single charge of housebreaking and two counts of sexual assault in relation to one woman, and had been released on bail. However, 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.
Bindra pleaded not guilty March 12 to more than a dozen charges, comprising 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.
Follow @DShurtzHerald on Twitter