May 19th, 2024

Sex assault trial moved to next summer


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 2, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

The second of three sex assault trials involving the same man has been adjourned to the new year.
Sohil Bindra was scheduled to begin the one-week trial Dec. 13 in relation to one woman, but it’s been moved to June 24-27 to accommodate an earlier trial that’s gone into overtime.
That trial was scheduled to run for two weeks and conclude last month. However, during a voir dire – a mini trial within a trial – the judge was asked to rule on the admissibility of certain evidence, and his decision was adjourned for several days, then adjourned again to Dec. 13 when the second trial was to start. Once the judge has given his decision, the Crown is expected to conclude its case, and defence can, if it chooses, begin calling evidence for its case.
In the first trial Bindra is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting four women between 2018 and 2020.
One woman testified she was sexually assaulted in Sohil’s vehicle more than three years ago, while another woman said she was assaulted in her own home after Sohil gave her a ride from a bar. A third woman testified she was assaulted after Sohil gave her a ride home the same night, but after he groped her in his vehicle, she ran into her residence. The fourth victim said the accused sexually assaulted her in his home after he offered to let her sleep at his house because she was too drunk to drive to her home in Taber.
Bindra, who also faces two charges of drug possession, is scheduled to stand trial in January, as well, for sex offences against a sixth woman. 
The accused was scheduled to begin a two-week trial last 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.

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