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Lethbridge teens accused of sexual assault in locker-room allowed to attend grad ceremony

Trial dates have been set for three Lethbridge high school football players who are accused of sexually assaulting a teammate, and bail conditions were amended Wednesday allowing two of the boys to attend their graduation ceremony in June.

The boys are 16- and 17-years-old and were charged in October with sexual assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and assault with a weapon. 

They cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Lethbridge police initially charged four teens following an incident in a locker-room at a local school last October. 

At the time charges were laid, police alleged a 16-year-old was confined and attacked on Oct. 3 in the school’s locker-room after regular school hours.

Diversion program for one teen

The fourth teen has had his charges downgraded to assault and was referred to a diversion program involving extrajudicial sanctions. This process allows a young person to take responsibility and be held accountable without going through the court system. 

The sanctions can include volunteer work, compensating the victim or issuing a written apology.

Defence lawyer Miranda Hlady says her client, who is proceeding through the diversion program, will be back in court on June 12. It’s expected he’ll have completed those sanctions by then.

The three other boys will go on trial starting Oct. 28 for three days. 

Grad ceremony 

Two of those teens also had their bail conditions amended Wednesday so that they can attend their school’s graduation ceremonies in June. 

One of the conditions of the accused’s release is that they are not allowed to attend the high school and there is a no-contact order with the complainant. 

Justice Gregory Maxwell was told that prosecutor Bob Morrison consented to the amendments because the alleged victim does not plan to attend the event. 

At the brief court appearance on Wednesday, Morrison re-elected to proceed summarily, which is considered less serious than proceeding by indictment.

The Crown had previously indicated it would proceed by indictment, signalling the seriousness of the charges and sending the matter to the Court of King’s Bench.

After the charges were laid, the Lethbridge School Division cancelled the school’s football program for the season.

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