Preliminary inquiry set in sexual assault case

NANAIMO – A man facing four sex-related charges will find out if he will stand trial in Nanaimo provincial court in October.

A man facing four sex-related charges, including invitation to sexual touching under 16, will find out in the fall whether he will stand trial.

A preliminary inquiry is scheduled in Nanaimo provincial court on Oct. 31, for Talal El Bakkar, 63 when he was first charged in November 2015, according to Crown counsel.

In addition to the invitation to sexual touching charge, El Bakkar also faces two counts of sexual assault, as well as a charge of sexual interference of a person under 16.

The charges of invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference are alleged to have taken place June 1, 2015, while the sexual assaults were alleged to have occurred on Aug. 23, 2015 and March 1, 2015 respectively, according to B.C. court services.

The inquiry will determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial.

“You get that on an indictable offence,” said Gordon Comer, Crown spokesman. “The defence usually gets to elect what kind of trial they want to have and they get a choice of a trial in provincial court … or a trial in [B.C.] Supreme Court with a judge alone, or judge and jury.”

Comer said Crown had no other comment related to the case as it was before the court.