Mark Evans, lawyer for accused Rick Lowes, briefly appeared in Welland virtual court last Wednesday before Justice of the Peace Bruce Phillips. He told the court that he has arranged a judicial pre-trial meeting with Crown Attorney Stephanie Ford. The matter will be returning to the Welland courthouse on June 29 at 9 AM. It will be the 17th proceeding in the case.

Lowes, 65, was charged with three counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference with a person under 16 in March 2021. A butcher by trade, he owns and operates the Country Corner Market, in Fonthill, and has supported numerous charitable causes in Pelham and Niagara with food donations in the past. Lowes was recognized as the Fonthill and District Kinsmen Club’s Citizen of the Year in 2008.

A publication ban prohibits the disclosure of any information about the alleged victims that may lead to their identification.