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Former Prince Edward County CAS executive director to go to trial as AG forgoes preliminary hearing

Bill Sweet, former Prince Edward County Children's Aid executive director, will go straight to trial, rather than going through a preliminary hearing. The decision was made to avoid a Jordan appeal, says assistant Crown Attorney Jodi Whyte.
Bill Sweet, former Prince Edward County Children's Aid executive director, will go straight to trial, rather than going through a preliminary hearing. The decision was made to avoid a Jordan appeal, says assistant Crown Attorney Jodi Whyte. CKWS

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.

READ MORE: Children’s Aid executive facing 20 charges in child abuse case

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.

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READ MORE: Teen ‘sexual cult’ in Ontario foster home known to Children’s Aid Society, victim says

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.

WATCH: How reports of sexual abuse in an Ontario foster home were allegedly dismissed for years

Click to play video: '‘No one listened’: How reports of sexual abuse in an Ontario foster home were allegedly dismissed for years' ‘No one listened’: How reports of sexual abuse in an Ontario foster home were allegedly dismissed for years
‘No one listened’: How reports of sexual abuse in an Ontario foster home were allegedly dismissed for years – Jun 27, 2019

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