Trial begins for Lethbridge man charged with sexually assaulting 13-year-old girl

Twelve jurors and two alternates have been selected in the trial for 39-year-old Gary Lippa.

The Lethbridge man is facing charges of possession of child pornography, making/distributing or publishing child pornography, child luring, invitation to sexual touching and sexual assault.

ALERT’s Internet Child exploitation unit reported that a man was arrested at his Lethbridge home in February 2018, and a number of computers and electronic devices were seized.

ALERT said police were tipped off in September of 2017 that the accused was allegedly involved in sexualized online chats with an underage girl. Police also believe that nude photos were being exchanged.

ALERT also said the man deceptively enticed a girl away from her caregivers and when the two met in person, the girl was sexually assaulted.

Originally Lippa was planning to represent himself during the trial, but has now secured a lawyer and will be represented by Wade Hlady.

Lippa’s bail was recently revoked after he was handed additional charges for breaching his release conditions and theft.

He will remain in custody while the trial is underway.

The judge and jury trial is slated to run for about nine days with the Crown planning to call 12 witnesses. It’s not known if the defence will call any.

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