By Delon Shurtz on December 11, 2020.
A 30-year-old man facing several sex-related charges from 2017 is no longer facing prosecution.
The charges were stayed Dec. 2, the day court was set to hear several pre-trial applications. A stay of proceeding halts further action on a matter, without a conviction and often without an explanation.
The accused, who was a respite-care worker for people with developmental disabilities, was charged early in 2017 with six counts of sexual assault, six counts of sexual interference, two counts of sexual exploitation and one count of invitation to sexual touching.
However, he was ordered following a preliminary hearing in May 2018 to stand trial on four counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual interference, one count of sexual exploitation and one count of invitation to sexual touching. The man was originally charged in relation to one young person, but later charged in relation to three additional young people.
The accused, who can’t be identified under a court-ordered publication ban, was set for trial by judge alone in December 2019 in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench. It was cancelled, however, after defence re-elected for trial by judge an jury. The trial was then rescheduled two more times before it was set to run in June 2021.
The trial had also been delayed while the court addressed three pre-trial applications relating to the right to be tried within a reasonable amount of time after being charged, hearsay evidence, and similar fact evidence. Those applications were to be heard last week when the case was stayed.
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