January 24th, 2021

Hearing set for man looking to retract guilty plea

By Shurtz, Delon on November 11, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald


A southern Alberta man who has already pleaded guilty to several sex-related charges, including child luring, will finally have a chance to ask a judge to strike his pleas.

Gary James Lippa, who pleaded guilty in February to charges of sexual assault, child luring, and making, printing and publishing child pornography, wants to retract his pleas, and told a judge in September he had been “badgered” into pleading guilty.

On Monday in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench, Lippa’s application to set aside his guilty pleas was scheduled for a hearing Nov. 26. He also returns to provincial court next Monday to speak to three charges of failing to comply with release conditions.

Lippa, who remains in custody, is accused of accessing the internet in contravention of his release conditions on the sex charges.

During the hearing in February, the Crown, reading from an agreed statement of facts, told court the accused dated the stepmother of the 13-year-old girl he lured into having sex with him, and often referred to the girl as his niece. After the relationship between Lippa and the girl’s stepmother ended, Lippa and the girl lost touch with each other until after she turned 13 in November 2016 and he began communicating with her online, often texting her graphic sexual comments and requesting nude photos of her.

In August 2017, the two met several times while she was in Lethbridge staying with friends of the family. On one occasion they went to his residence and had sex.

In September the girl’s stepmother found out she was inappropriately communicating with Lippa online and contacted the RCMP. The girl provided a statement to police and was told to stop communicating with Lippa, but he continued talking to her and helped her hide the communications from her family.

After the girl turned 14 Lippa continued to communicate with her sexually, then on Feb. 22, 2018 police arrested him, searched his home, and seized several electronic devices. At first Lippa denied having sex with the girl, but later admitted he did.

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