July 16th, 2024

Preliminary hearing set for man charged with sex-related offences

By Lethbridge Herald on October 21, 2023.

Delon Shurtz

One of several men charged more than two years ago in relation to human trafficking and other sex-related offences is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing early next year.

The date for the one-day hearing, March 4, 2024, was set this week in Lethbridge court of justice, where Calgary lawyer Leanndria Halcro appeared for the accused, Fadi Chtewi.

The matter had been set for a preliminary hearing last Spring, but it was cancelled after the accused’s previous lawyer got off the record.

A preliminary inquiry is typically held to determine if here is enough evidence to warrant a trial.

Police reported in August 2021 that eight men and two youth from Lethbridge and Calgary selected and groomed a 15-year-old girl and took her to specific locations where sex offences occurred. A 13-year-old girl was also alleged to have been involved in sexual activity, and additional complainants came forward later in connection with the investigation.

Chtewi, who previously elected to be tried by a Court of King’s Bench judge alone, is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault, and single counts of sexual contact with a child, sexual counsel of a child, sexual assault of a person under the age of 16, trafficking in persons, and being party to sexual assault.

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