Special prosecutor appointed for investigation into former Burns Lake mayor

WATCH: The community of Burns Lake has been rocked by shocking allegations made against their former mayor. Luke Strimbold is accused of sexual assault in a string of offences. Julia Foy has more.

The B.C. Prosecution Service has hired Leonard Doust as a Special Prosecutor in relation to an investigation into former Burns Lake mayor Luke Strimbold.

Strimbold is facing 24 sex-related charges in connection to four alleged victims. Burns Lake RCMP believe there are more victims.

“The appointment of a Special Prosecutor is intended to avoid any potential for real or perceived improper influence in the administration of justice in light of the nature of the allegations and the identity of the accused as a former elected municipal official with significant connections to the BC Liberal party,” reads a statement from the prosecution service office.

WATCH HERE: Burns Lake sex assault allegations

Former Burns Lake mayor facing sexual assault charges
Former Burns Lake mayor facing sexual assault charges

Strimbold was arrested on Feb. 3 and was released on conditions. He is scheduled to appear next on April 6.

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Many of the alleged offences occurred while Strimbold was still serving as mayor of Burns Lake. He resigned as mayor unexpectedly in 2016.

READ MORE: Luke Strimbold, former Burns Lake mayor, faces multiple sex-related charges

The special prosecutor will be responsible for conducting an independent assessment of the current charges and making a decision on charges he deems appropriate.

When he was first elected at the age of 21, Strimbold was the youngest mayor in the province’s history. He later went on to be the B.C. Liberals membership chair and resigned that position when news of the charges against him became public.

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