June 22nd, 2024

Accused awaits verdict in sexual assault trial

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 24, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man who is scheduled for two sex-related trials later this year, is still waiting for the judge to give his decision on a trial last year.
Lawyers were expected to set a date Wednesday in Lethbridge provincial court when they could present their arguments in front of Judge Jerry LeGrandeur, following Sohil Bindra’s first trial, which concluded in December. However, Crown Prosecutor Dawn Janecke pointed out the Crown’s written argument had not yet been sent to the judge, although it likely would be sent later in the day.
Calgary lawyer Andre Ouellette suggested if written submissions by the Crown and the defence suffice, the judge could give his decision when all three agree to meet next, if he believes he already has enough information and doesn’t require lengthy oral submissions, as well.
The matter is set to return to court Tuesday to set a date for arguments or a decision, or both.
Bindra, 35, is accused of sexually assaulting four women on separate occasions between 2018 and 2020. The accused denies the allegations, and testified during his trial that all the women consented to the liaisons.
During the trial, which began in November, one woman testified Bindra assaulted her in his vehicle in the Spring of 2018. 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 2020. He 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 whom he gave a ride home.
A fourth woman told court she was too drunk to drive home to Taber following a work Christmas party in December of 2018, and was sexually assaulted after Bindra allowed her to stay the night at his westside home. Although Bindra said she was coming onto him, she testified she did not consent and told him no.
Bindra is also scheduled to face two separate trials later this year in relation to two other women.

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