Mayoral candidate says his crimes are in his past

Jukka Laurio outside his cafe on Westminster Avenue in Downtown Penticton.

PENTICTON - Mayoral candidate Jukka Laurio says his time spent in jail for sexual offence is in the past and people should focus on what he’s doing now to improve the community.

Laurio, who announced he was running for mayor of Penticton last week, has a serious criminal record including drug trafficking and possession conviction in 2003. Some details of his criminal history were not immediately available but he self-disclosed that he was convicted of sexual assault and that he served four years in jail at Mountain Institution in Agassiz "fifteen to twenty years ago." However he denied rumours that the victim was a minor. The conviction surfaced in his 2011 campaign when Laurio ran for mayor.

But now, he says, “it’s ancient news. It’s time to move on.”

Laurio, born in 1958, says he doesn’t dwell on the past and is focusing on his present and future efforts to improve the community. Since he was released from prison, Laurio says he has worked to make amends with society and will continue to do so.

Laurio says he’s not sure what he would say to people who are concerned about his past. All he can do is admit he’s made mistakes in the past, and hopes the community can get past that, he says.

“I’m focusing on what I’m doing now,” he says. “I don’t build on the past.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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