The BC Prosecution Service announced the charge on Wednesday, saying the incident is alleged to have occurred on May 2022, when Basran was still mayor.
He ran for a third term in October’s municipal election, but was soundly defeated by Tom Dyas.
Brock Martland, a Vancouver lawyer who operates a private practice, was appointed as special prosecutor in the case on Oct. 13.
“The appointment of a special prosecutor is intended to avoid any potential for real or perceived improper influence in the administration of justice, considering the nature of the allegations and the identity of the accused as an elected municipal official,” the prosecution service said in a news release.
“The investigation was conducted by the Kelowna RCMP Investigative Services Department and the investigative findings were independently reviewed by the Nelson Police Department before the report to Crown Counsel was forwarded to the special prosecutor.”
Global News has reached out to Basran for comment.
The former mayor’s first court appearance is set for Jan. 24.
The BCPS said the announcement of Martland being appointed a special prosecutor was initially postponed pending the completion of the investigation and approval of the charge.
“Following consultation with the special prosecutor, and considering the specific circumstances of the case, the BCPS concluded that issuing a media statement was appropriate at this time.”
Following Wednesday’s announcement by the BCPS, the City of Kelowna issued a statement, saying elected officials and staff will not comment on the charge against Basran, as it’s now before the court.