Canada
Former Mountie to stand trial next June on child sex assault charges

KEVIN MARTIN | QMI AGENCY

CALGARY -- Disgraced former Mountie Arnold James (Jim) Somers will stand trial next June on allegations he molested three boys.

Somers' lawyer, Stephen Bitzer, entered not guilty pleas on his client's behalf Friday, as the accused appeared briefly in provincial court.

Bitzer told provincial court Judge Joanne Durant eight days will be required for the trial, beginning June 10.
Outside court, the lawyer said Somers will stay behind bars for the time being.

"He'll remain in custody until his trial, or a bail hearing is heard," Bitzer said.

Somers appeared in court via closed-circuit TV from the Calgary Remand Centre.

He faces 14 charges relating to allegations he molested three boys in Calgary.

Among the charges the 69-year-old Calgarian faces are sexual assault, sexual interference with a child under 14, invitation to sexual touching and indecent exposure to a person under 14.

An investigation began after a 17-year-old boy approached police with allegations.

Police later uncovered two more potential victims, boys aged 10 and 14, who are related to each other.

Cops said Somers allegedly knew the parents of the boys and that's how he got into contact with them.

The former Mountie was convicted in 1997 of sexually assaulting three Saskatchewan brothers in the 1980s and sentenced to two years less a day in a provincial jail.

He was also convicted of indecently assaulting an Edmonton boy, but a new trial was ordered and the Crown never pursued a second hearing.

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