Ontario’s attorney general has made the decision to commit the former head of the Prince Edward County Children’s Aid Society straight to trial, skipping the preliminary hearing meant to start next week.
In April 2018, Bill Sweet, 68, was charged with 10 counts of neglect causing bodily harm and 10 counts of failing to provide the necessaries of life due to alleged incidents of abuse that happened in foster homes between 2002 and 2010.
OPP say Sweet himself never abused any children, but 10 children were allegedly abused in foster homes chosen by the Prince Edward County Children’s Aid Society under his tenure.
The preliminary hearing was meant to start on July 8 and last two weeks, but Jodi Whyte, assistant Crown attorney in Belleville, said the attorney general was worried the case against Sweet was taking too long.
Whyte said the decision to skip the preliminary hearing was made to avoid a constitutional appeal to the right to a speedy trial, sometimes called a Jordan appeal.
Sweet’s trial will be going through the Superior Court, but there is no trial date set as of yet.
Whyte says the process to choose a trial date will begin July 8. She also expects the trial itself to take a considerable amount of time.
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