June 14th, 2024

Upcoming sexual assault trial adjourned

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 8, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A sex-assault trial scheduled to run only days before Christmas, has been adjourned for an unspecified length of time.

The three-day trial for Khaled Alsaid, which was set to begin on Dec. 20, was cancelled Monday during a brief hearing in Lethbridge provincial court. The accused’s lawyer, Rabie Ahmed of Calgary, requested the adjournment and said he wants to see what happens with related trials that are scheduled to run next year before he decides how to proceed with his client’s matter.

The first of those trials is set to run Jan. 11-13 in provincial court, and involves Ziyaad Noor, a Calgary physician who pleaded not guilty in March to charges of sexual contact with a child, sexual counsel of a child, sexual assault of a person under the age of 16, sexual assault causing bodily harm, aggravated sexual assault, trafficking in persons, and being party to sexual assault.

The charges stem from a police investigation into human trafficking in which 10 individuals, including two youth, were arrested in August 2021. Police said several men groomed a 15-year-old girl and took her to various locations where sex offences took place. The same individuals also engaged in sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl, and additional victims came forward later in connection with the investigation.

Alsaid, 23, is charged with sexual assault, sexual contact with a child, and sexual counsel of a child. His matter is scheduled to return to court Jan. 23, which will allow time for his lawyer to obtain the transcripts from the Noor trial before determining whether he wants to schedule new trial dates or work toward resolving the charges without a trial.

Crown Prosecutor Mykel Long suggested while such a resolution in the Alsaid case might be possible, defence first needs to see what evidence is presented during the Noor trial.

Although charges against the other adults accused in relation to the human trafficking case have yet to be resolved by trials, charges against the two youth have been resolved with guilty pleas.

One of the youths pleaded guilty in February to two counts of sexual assault against two girls, and was given a two-year deferred custody and supervision order. The order allows the offender to serve his sentence in the community, during which he is bound by several conditions. If he breaches any of the conditions he could be ordered to serve his sentence in custody.

The second youth pleaded guilty last month to one count of sexual assault and was sentenced to six months of deferred custody and supervision, followed by probation.

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