Brian Batke. (RCMP handout)

Former Cloverdale church elder will be tried in Supreme Court on sexual assault charges

Preliminary inquiry for Brian Batke case set for February 2020

Brian Batke, a former Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church elder facing charges of sexual assault and sexual exploitation, has elected to be tried by a Supreme Court judge without a jury.

The preliminary inquiry, which will take place in Surrey Provincial Court, has been scheduled for February 2020.

Surrey RCMP announced in October 2018 that Batke had been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation. A second count of exploitation was added in December 2018. The alleged incidents happened in 2005, and were reported to police in 2017.

At the time of the alleged incidents, the victim was a minor.

Batke has not yet entered a plea.

There is no requirement for a plea to be entered before the preliminary inquiry takes place. Instead, a plea will be entered at trial.

The news of the charges against Batke came almost exactly a year after Surrey RCMP announced that a former pastor of the same Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church, Samuel Emerson, had been charged with sexual assault. Together, Samuel Emerson and his wife Madelaine Emerson face more than 20 charges, including sexual assault, sexual touching of a minor, and threats to cause death or bodily harm.

The Emersons entered a plea of not guilty in March 2018, and are set to appear for trial in spring of 2019.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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