June 13th, 2021

Trials set for man facing sexual assault charges


By Delon Shurtz on May 5, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Three separate criminal trials have been set for a 33-year-old man facing numerous sex-related charges against six women.
Sohil Bindra is set to stand trial Nov. 8-19 on charges of sexual assault, housebreaking and commit sexual assault, and administering a noxious substance in relation to four women. The two-week trial was set March 18 in Lethbridge provincial court, where Bindra attended by CCTV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre.
The accused is also scheduled to stand trial Dec. 13-17 for similar offences against another woman, and Jan. 17-21, 2022 for sex offences against a sixth woman.
Bindra was initially scheduled to begin a 14-day trial in March in relation to all six complainants, but Calgary lawyer Andre Ouellette applied to have the charges, along with the six complainants, separated into three trials to avoid prejudicing the judge. Ouellette said he believes it would be unfair to his client to have the same judge hear similar testimony from six women, stemming from separate incidents.
Judge Eric Peterson granted Ouellette’s severance application on March 8 and the case was adjourned to arrange trial dates.
Police reported in March 2020 that an 18-year-old woman was sexually assaulted after attending a bar with a female friend on Feb. 7 of that year. 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 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 of last year when he attended a court hearing and was subsequently denied bail. He pleaded not guilty the same month to 14 charges.
Follow @DShurtzHerald on Twitter

Follow @DShurtzHerald on Twitter

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