May 28th, 2024

Accused takes stand in sexual assault trial


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 15, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 35-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting four women, says his trysts with the women were consensual.
Sohil Bindra took the stand during his trial Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court, and simply responded “no” each time his lawyer asked if he sexually assaulted any of the women, gave any of them a noxious substance, or if they ever said they didn’t want to have sex with him. And during at least one of the liaisons, the woman instigated the sexual interaction, he said.
During his trial last month, one woman testified Bindra assaulted her in his vehicle in the Spring of 2018, and while she didn’t see his face, she recognized his voice because he had spoken to her earlier in the night while they were at a downtown bar. Bindra is charged with sexual assault and administering a noxious substance in relation to the assault against the woman.
Another woman testified Bindra sexually assaulted her after he gave her and a friend a ride home from a bar in February of last year. She said Bindra gave her a ride home after she began to feel sick, then after giving her friend a ride home, he returned, went into her bedroom, removed her clothes and sexually assaulted her.
Bindra is charged with housebreaking and commit sexual assault, sexual assault, and administering a noxious substance in relation to that woman. He also faces sexual assault in relation to the woman’s friend who testified Bindra groped her after he gave her a ride home.
A fourth woman told court she was at a Christmas work party in December 2018, and later the same night went to a night club. She was too drunk to drive home to Taber, and Bindra allowed her to stay at residence in Lethbridge.
She testified she was already intoxicated when they arrived at Bindra’s residence, but he talked her into having another drink which, she said, tasted odd.
“I started to feel sick the more I drank it,” she said.
She vomited shortly afterward and Bindra suggested they watch TV in his bedroom. She complained her back hurt, and allowed Bindra to give her a massage while she lay topless, face down on his bed. She said she couldn’t remember if she took off her shirt or Bindra did.
She fell asleep and when she awoke Bindra was assaulting her. She said she did not willingly allow him to have sex with her and told him not to.
Bindra testified Tuesday that the woman was coming on to him, which led to sex, and she never said she didn’t want to.
Bindra, who also faces two charges of drug possession, admitted he had drugs in his home, including Dexedrine, which he uses to treat his ADHD, and the male sex hormone testosterone to assist his bodybuilding. He said he never gave any substance to others without their consent.
The Crown is scheduled to spend several hours cross-examining Bindra today, and Calgary lawyer Andre Ouellette is expected to call a witness to the stand Thursday, before concluding his case.
Bindra is also scheduled to stand trial next month for similar charges against a fifth woman, and again in June for sex offences against a sixth woman.

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