Preliminary hearing set for youth respite worker accused of sexual assault

By Patrick Burles - Lethbridge News Now
November 25, 2017 - 6:40am

LETHBRIDGE - A preliminary hearing date has been set for a 27-year-old man, charged with multiple counts of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation.

The one-day hearing has been scheduled for May 28, 2018, and will determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. Should that be the case, he has already elected trial by judge alone, after entering not guilty pleas.

The charges against the accused – who cannot be identified under a court ordered publication ban – are in relation to four alleged victims.

The accused was initially arrested on Feb. 16, 2017, following an investigation launched by Coaldale RCMP into allegations of offences involving a young person with developmental disabilities. Charges pertaining to the other three alleged victims were then entered by the Crown in August, prompting the defence to ask for more time to review the case.

The man was terminated from Palliser Regional Schools, after the division learned of the charges in February. However, Coaldale RCMP stated that there was no evidence to indicate any of the offences occurred at the school where the man worked.

He is currently out on bail under conditions that he have no contact with children, with an exception for a group whose parents made a special request to the court.

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