July 16th, 2024

Sex offence matters back in court Nov. 27

By Lethbridge Herald on October 24, 2023.

Delon Shurtz

A southern Alberta man who has been ordered to stand trial on several sex-related offences, is expected to set trial dates next month in Lethbridge Court of King’s Bench.

Mohammad Neirabani’s matters are back in court Nov. 27 when he is scheduled set to take a step on charges of sexual contact with a child, sexual counsel of a child and sexual assault of a person under the age of 16.

“I’m just in the process of trying to secure trial dates,” Lethbridge lawyer Marcus Mueller told Madam Justice Johnna Kubik Monday during a brief court hearing.

Neirabani originally faced 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, being a party with others to sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, trafficking in persons and luring a child, but following the completion of a preliminary hearing Sept. 26, he was committed to stand trial on three of the charges.

A preliminary hearing is typically held to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a trial, and evidence presented during the hearing is subject to a court-ordered ban and cannot be published. 

Neirabani was discharged of the five remaining charges on which he wasn’t committed to stand trial.

The accused is part of a group of eight men and two youths who were charged in August of 2021 in relation to a human trafficking investigation. 

Police said several men selected and groomed a 15-year-old girl and took her to specific locations where sex offences took place. Additional victims came forward later in connection with the investigation.

Neirabani was scheduled to stand trial in February in Lethbridge court of justice, but it was adjourned after the accused and his lawyer, Kirsten Lancee of Calgary, parted ways, and Lancee was permitted to get off the record. Mueller took over the file a few days later.

The accused re-elected in April to be tried in Court of King’s Bench by a judge and jury, with a preliminary hearing.

Charges against six of the accused men are still before the court, while the matters for the four other individuals charged have concluded.

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