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

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID 19: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, other First Nations mobilize resources

Some Indigenous communities are enacting emergency measures to cope during pandemic

Tofino and Ucluelet distilleries step up with hand sanitizer

Mass supply delivered to emergency operation centres in Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield and Port Alberni.

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read