Country Corner Market, Fonthill. VOICE FILE

Last Wednesday saw 18th proceeding in the matter

Mark Evans, lawyer for accused Richard Lowes, briefly appeared in Welland virtual court last Wednesday before Justice of the Peace Bruce Phillips.

He told the court that he was having difficulties arranging a Crown pre-trial meeting (CPT) date with Crown Attorney Stephanie Ford, who has been assigned to the case.

Rick Lowes. FACEBOOK

Evans requested that Linda Scaringi Deschaselets, the Crown prosecutor present in court, to assign another prosecutor to the case, in an effort to expedite the matter. His Honour Phillips slated the case to return to the Welland courthouse on July 27 at 9 AM, a date by which Evans suggested that the CPT would be concluded.

June 29 was the 18th proceeding in this matter, which has now been 15 months before the courts.

Lowes, 66, was charged with three counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference with a person under 16 in March of 2021. He owns and operates the Country Corner Market, at Quaker Road and Line Avenue 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.