July 25th, 2024

Sentencing adjourned for sex assault convictions


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on June 10, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Calgary lawyer who was expected to confirm a date for his client to be sentenced on sex-related charges, unexpectedly adjourned the matter Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court.
Alain Hepner, who appeared in court in person, had anticipated setting a trial date for his client, Sohil Bindra, who was found guilty last month of administering a drug to three women and sexually assaulting them between 2018 and 2020.
However, Hepner told the judge he had received a “lengthy letter” from Crown counsel the night before relating to the case, and now needs to meet with Bindra and his family, as well as the Crown, before proceeding with the matter.
Bindra, who appeared in court by CCTV from the Edmonton Remand Centre, was simply returned to remand until his next court date on Monday when the matter will be spoken to.
Judge Jerry LeGrandeur found Bindra guilty May 3 of several sex-related offences involving the women between 2018 and 2020. The accused denied the allegations, and testified during his trial last year that all the women consented to the liaisons.
During the trial in November and December, one of the women testified Bindra assaulted her in his vehicle in the spring of 2018. Bindra, 35, was found guilty of 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 2020. He was found guilty of housebreaking and commit sexual assault, sexual assault and administering a noxious substance in relation to that woman. He also faced a charge of sexual assault – in the form of an unwanted kiss – in relation to the woman’s friend to whom he gave a ride home, but LeGrandeur said the Crown did not prove the absence of consent and he dismissed that charge.
A fourth woman told court during the trial that she was too drunk to drive home to Taber following a work Christmas party in December 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. He was found guilty of administering a noxious substance and sexual assault.
Bindra was also found guilty on two drug charges; one for possessing cocaine and the other for possessing the substance he used to drug the women.
Bindra is scheduled to face two separate sex assault trials later this year in relation to two other women. The first trial is set for June 20-24.

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