May 28th, 2024

Crown wraps case in sexual assault trial


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 14, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

The Crown prosecutors in a sex assault trial in Lethbridge concluded their case Monday after the judge ruled certain evidence presented in court last month is admissible.
Judge Jerry LeGrandeur was asked by the Crown to accept similar fact evidence, which would allow evidence of alleged misconduct by the accused against another woman to be admitted for the purpose of inferring the accused committed the offences currently at trial.
The Crown was waiting for the judge’s decision before closing its case against Sohil Bindra, who is accused of sexually assaulting four women between 2018 and 2020. Following Monday’s decision in Lethbridge provincial court, the matter was adjourned until today to allow time for Calgary lawyer Andre Ouellette to discuss the decision with his client and decide if he will call any evidence.
One woman testified last month that 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 escaped 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.
The accused, who also faces two charges of drug possession, was scheduled to begin a four-day trial this week in relation to a fifth woman, but it was adjourned to June 24-27 after the current trial needed to be extended. Sohil is scheduled to stand trial in January, as well, for sex offences against a sixth woman.
The 35-year-old man was to stand trial last March in relation to all six complainants, but Ouellette applied to have the charges, along with the six complainants, separated into three trials to avoid prejudicing the judge.

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