Country Corner Market, Fonthill. VOICE FILE

After 19 proceedings in provincial court, there is still no discernible progress in the case against 66-year-old Rick Lowes.

Lowes’ lawyer Mark Evans briefly appeared in virtual court Wednesday, July 27, to ask Justice of the Peace Bruce Phillips for yet another deferral, this time to August 19, to have a Crown pre-trial (CPT) meeting with Crown Attorney Stephanie Ford, who has been assigned to the case.

Rick Lowes. FACEBOOK

Evans had previously requested, on June 29, that another prosecutor be assigned to the case in an effort to expedite the matter. There was no mention of any change during Wednesday’s brief appearance.

A month ago, His Honour Phillips deferred the proceedings to last Wednesday, a date by which Evans suggested that the CPT would be concluded.

Lowes, who was named the Fonthill and District Kinsmen Club’s 2008 Citizen of the Year, was charged with three counts of sexual assault, and one count of sexual interference with a person under 16 years old, in March of 2021. As the owner and operator of the Country Corner Market at Quaker Road and Line Avenue in Fonthill, he has supported numerous charitable causes in Pelham and the Niagara region with food donations in the past.

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

With files by Don Rickers.