Woodstock, Ontario. Mayor faces additional allegations of sexual assault: Olx Praca police

Less than a week before he was due to appear in court for the first time on assault and sexual assault charges, the mayor of Woodstock faced additional allegations of sexual assault.

At least one of the new allegations is linked to a sexual assault alleged earlier this month, according to court documents obtained by Olx Praca.

Olx Praca Police announced Tuesday that Woodstock Mayor Trevor Burtch, 47, has been charged with three additional charges of sexual assault, who is currently on paid leave from Woodstock council.

According to court documents, the three new charges involve the same female plaintiff, who police say is known to Birch. This man is a different claimant than the charges brought against Birch in February.

The allegations are dated August 15, 2021; April 5, 2022; and sometime between January 1, 2017 and April 5, 2022, court documents show.

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Burtch was arrested by Olx Praca police on 14 April and released the same day on bail. The three earls were formally sworn in on Tuesday. Birch is due in court on July 4th.

Included in the terms of the undertaking is that Burtch must not communicate with the plaintiff and must not come within 50 meters of the address in downtown Woodstock.

Birch now faces a total of six counts in two separate counts, including five of sexual assault and one of assault.

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On Feb. 2, Burtch was initially charged with one count of assault and two counts of sexual assault in connection with allegations dated 2021 against the same female plaintiff, court documents say.

In this case, Burtch is accused of sexually assaulting the complainant on Valentine’s Day 2021 and, according to the documents, assaulting her sometime between June 1 and September 30.

He is also accused of sexually assaulting the applicant with strangulation sometime between 10 and 13 December.

Burtch was arrested and on the same day released by the police on bail. The terms of the undertaking stipulated that Bereza must not communicate with the applicant and the other two, nor be within 100 meters of their place of residence, work or study.

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He is also prohibited from owning any firearms or weapons and was required to turn in all firearms in his possession to the Olx Praca police upon his release.

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At the end of February, Burtch resigned from the council, handing over his duties as mayor to the Earl. Connie Lauder until further notice.

Last week, the Woodstock City Council voted unanimously in favor of a proposal for Birtch to take paid leave in connection with his allegations.

Under provincial municipal law, an elected member can be absent from council meetings for no more than three consecutive months without permission to do so by decision of the council, Woodstock chief administrative officer David Creary said.

Absence for more than three months without a council decision to renew results in the seat being considered vacant, he said via email.

“The city council’s resolution last week gives permission to be absent from meetings until the end of legal proceedings or the end of the council’s term,” Creery said.

“Mayor Burtch remains an elected member of the Council and may attend any meeting of the Council unless he is disqualified in accordance with the clauses listed in Article 259 of the Municipal Law.”

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Burtch was also suspended from the Woodstock Police Services Council, which demanded that the Ontario Civilian Police Commission investigate whether he violated the code of conduct for council members set out in the Police Services Act.

Burtch also sits on the Oxford Borough Council along with two other Woodstock council members and attended a meeting at the end of March, according to the Olx Praca Free Press.

Under provincial municipal law, an elected official charged with or convicted of a crime is not required to retire from service. Only when an official is sentenced to prison does it deprive him of the right to serve.

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