Luke Strimbold, right, enters the Smithers courthouse May 6 with his lawyer Stan Tessmer, to plead guilty to four sexual assault charges. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

The Crown is seeking four to six years federal time; the defence wants 18 months in provincial jail

The former mayor of Burns Lake has been sentenced to two years in jail, less one day, after pleading guilty to four counts of sexual assault involving boys under the age of 16.

Luke Strimbold entered his guilty plea in May. Justice Brenda Brown heard arguments from both Crown and defence on Nov. 26, but reserved her decision till Wednesday.

Strimbold had initially faced 29 charges including sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching involving boys under the age of 16. The B.C. Prosecution Service agreed to stay 25 of them after Strimbold was sentenced.

READ MORE: Former Burns Lake mayor pleads guilty to four sex assault charges

Before her sentencing decision, Brown noted her chief goals were deterrence. She said Strimbold used his position of trust and authority to take advantage of the young victims.

Brown said she was sentencing Strimbold to 12 months for the first count, seven months for the second, and 2.5 months each for the third and fourth counts. The sentence will add up to two years, less one day, the judge said, and be served consecutively.

The former mayor will have a two year probation after his sentence and will be banned from taking work involving young people for five years.

Strimbold will have to submit DNA, be placed on the sex offender registry and will be under a firearms ban.

Prosecutor Richard Peck had argued for a four to six year sentence saying the Criminal Code clearly makes denunciation and deterrence the overriding principle of sentencing in cases where children are involved.

He acknowledged mitigating circumstances such as Strimbold’s early guilty plea and lack of criminal record, but said the minimum for each count should be 12 to 18 months based on case law.

Strimbold’s counsel, Stanley Tessmer, had said that at the time of his offences, the former mayor did not recognize that what he was doing was wrong due to his own history of sexual abuse, repressed homosexuality and addiction to alcohol. Tessmer outlined the steps Strimbold has taken, including extensive counselling, to address his issues and pointed to a psychological report that assessed Strimbold as being a low risk to reoffend.

Tessmer had asked for a global sentence of 18 months, nine months on the first count and three months each on the others .

READ MORE: Judge reserves sentencing decision in Luke Strimbold sex assault case

More to come.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

COVID-19: Salmon Arm council makes tough decisions to address economic stress

Among the city’s measures are tax breaks, layoffs and a project delay

COVID-19: Diabetes Canada donation bins becoming garbage dumps amid pandemic

Diabetes Canada has asked residents to stop overflowing bins with donations and garbage

Okanagan College students receive emergency funding

Funding is available to domestic and Indigenous students from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Okanagan temperatures to be in the double digits all week

Kelowna’s forecast projects a high of 17 degrees on Thursday

Shuswap residents invited to show white heart in support of health-care workers

Emailed messages will be posted at Shuswap Lake General Hospital

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Spike of visitors to Princeton-area stressing grocery supply chain and healthcare teams

‘We are really not set up to have this many people at this time of year.’ Area H Director Bob Coyne

Summerland to offer mental health webinar

Event will examine ways of coping during COVID-19 pandemic

Okanagan tourism continues to suffer following COVID-19 pandemic

The District of Lake Country voted to suspend tourism on March 31

Van crashes into Kamloops home

Police say the driver went into medical distress before the crash

Kelowna RCMP seizes guns, illicit drugs following disturbance

RCMP seized three firearms and a variety of suspected illicit and prescription drugs

Most Read