Former Burns Lake mayor facing additional sex-related charges

Luke Strimbold was charged with 24 counts of sex-related offences, including offences related to people under the age of 16, earlier this year.

29 charges now approved for Luke Strimbold

Luke Strimbold is facing new charges of sex-related offences. (Village of Burns Lake)

More sex-related charges have been approved against former Burns Lake Mayor Luke Strimbold, the B.C. Prosecution Service said Thursday.

A 29-count direct indictment was filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Smithers, prosecutors said in a statement. That number includes the majority of  24 counts of sex-related offences announced earlier this year.

All complainants were under the age of 16 at the time of the alleged offences, prosecution spokesperson Dan McLaughlin said.

"The charges vary according to each complainant, but, in general, they include allegations of sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference," McLaughlin said. 

Strimbold was mayor of the northern Interior village from 2011 to 2016. He was B.C.'s youngest ever mayor after being elected at 21.

A special prosecutor assigned to the case approved the majority of the earlier charges against Strimbold, the prosecution service said, and also approved the new sex-related charges.

The new charges involve three additional complainants, prosecutors said.

The statement explained that a direct indictment "avoids the requirement of a preliminary inquiry and allows the matter to proceed directly to trial."

Strimbold is scheduled to make an appearance on the indictment Oct. 1, the prosecution service said.

None of the charges have been proven in court.