Defence in Surrey youth soccer coach trial granted more time

The trial of Kuldip Singh Mahal is now scheduled to get underway in January.

A Surrey youth soccer coach accused of pursuing sex with a minor will not go to trial until at least January.

Proceedings against Kuldip Singh Mahal had been set to get underway last week, after an initial trial date of July 20 was postponed.

According to filings for the U.S. District Court of Seattle, the jury trial is now set to to begin Jan. 19.

Mahal has been in custody south of the border since Feb. 3.

On that date, a 47-year-old Surrey man was arrested at a park in Burlington after crossing into the U.S. at Blaine.

Court documents allege the accused responded to a “casual encounters” post on Craigslist in January, and communicated with what he believed to be a 12-year-old girl. However, according to court documents, all suspect communications – including sexually explicit messages and photos – were sent to an undercover agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Word of the arrest resulted in Mahal’s suspension from Surrey United Soccer Club.

A request to continue the trial at a later date was granted in an appearance Oct. 8, during which Judge Robert S. Lasnik found that denying the motion – which was submitted unopposed – would deny defense counsel “the reasonable time necessary” to prepare, and “likely result in a miscarriage of justice.”

Lasnik described the continuance as a “reasonable period of delay” that would best-serve “ends of justice.”

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