Port Moody mayor accused of sexual assault has first court appearance pushed back
Port Moody’s embattled mayor has had his first court appearance on a sex assault charge moved to May.
Rob Vagramov was initially slated to appear on Thursday.
Vagramov has denied the accusations and said he plans to file a defamation suit against his accuser.
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The assault is alleged to have taken place in April 2015 in Coquitlam. Vagramov was a Port Moody city councillor at the time.
Vagramov took a leave of absence from Port Moody council and the Port Moody Police Board late last month when the charge emerged.
Port Moody council has also voted to review the paid status of the mayor’s leave.
“I would expect that this discussion will cover any and all aspects of the issue ranging from maintaining the current situation, reducing or removing the indemnity in its entirety,” said Coun. Meghan Lahti in an email.
The allegation first came to light during last fall’s municipal election campaign, Vagramov confirmed last month. He said he has been co-operating with investigators since then.
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The BC Prosecution Service has appointed Vancouver lawyer Michael Klein as special prosecutor in the case in order to avoid “real or perceived improper influence in the administration of justice” due to his status as an elected official.
Vagramov was elected mayor of Port Moody in last October’s municipal election at the age of 28, becoming the youngest person to win the job.
He previously faced controversy after a 2014 social media video surfaced depicting him asking a homeless man to shotgun a beer in exchange for a sandwich.
— with files from Sean Boynton
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