By Rob Vogt, Local Press Writer
A trial date still has not been set for a Claresholm man charged with several counts of sexual assault, sexual interference, and sexual exploitation.
A trial date was expected to be set in Fort Macleod provincial court on Jan. 31.
However, John Dziadyk, a Fort Macleod lawyer appearing on behalf of Jim Lutz, a Calgary-based lawyer representing the accused, said a pre-trial conference was not held. That conference of the defence, Crown and judge would have determined a trial date.
The matter was adjourned to Feb. 14 in order for the pre-trial conference to be arranged.
The accused plead not guilty on Jan. 10 to 10 counts of sexual assault, eight counts of sexual exploitation, and three counts of sexual interference. The matter was then adjourned to Jan. 31 in order for that pre-trial conference to be held.
A court-ordered publication ban is in effect so the accused cannot be named to protect the identities of the victims.
The case began on Nov. 15, when Claresholm RCMP entered into an investigation where five victims in their middle to late teens alleged numerous sexual assault incidents occurring over a period of 11 months.
As a result of this investigation, a Claresholm adult male was charged with several counts of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation.
The accused was scheduled to make his first court appearance on Dec. 6, but had not yet met with his lawyer so the matter was adjourned to Jan. 3 to provide time to do that.
On Jan. 3, another adjournment of a week was given in order for the accused’s lawyer, who was not present in the court room, to review the case and decide on a course of action.
That led to the not-guilty plea and need for a pre-trial conference.