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Former Ottawa lawyer arrested on sexual assault charges after several years on the run

Ottawa police say a man wanted on sexual assault charges since 2014 has been arrested. Beatrice Britneff / Global News

Ottawa police say a man wanted on sexual assault charges for more than five years was arrested on Saturday following his entry back into Canada.

John David Coon, 55, of Ottawa, was arrested by police after landing in Vancouver over this past weekend. He was then handed over to Ottawa police, who escorted him back to Ottawa.

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Coon appeared in court via video on Wednesday. The lower half of his face was covered, though Coon’s lawyer, Jenny McKnight, would not elaborate on what was covering her client’s face.

“I want to say very little at this point,” McKnight said after the court appearance. “I do believe there’s a lot to be said but I’m asking people to be patient because now is not the time.”

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McKnight also would not elaborate on the circumstances of Coon’s return to Canada but confirmed he is facing three charges.

Back in July 2013, Ottawa police began an investigation into a report involving the sexual assault of a minor by an adult man who was practising law.

At the time, Coon was a lawyer practising family law.

A warrant for Coon’s arrest was issued in January 2014, but police believed at the time that he had left the country.

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Police believe there may be more potential victims and are asking anyone with information to contact the Ottawa police sexual assault and child abuse section at 613-236-1222 ext. 5944. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca.

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