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Lawyer to stand trial

Numerous charges have been dropped, but Sudbury lawyer Donald Plaunt has been ordered to stand trial on numerous sex-assault charges.

Numerous charges have been dropped, but Sudbury lawyer Donald Plaunt has been ordered to stand trial on numerous sex-assault charges.

A lengthy preliminary hearing, which continued over several months, wrapped up Friday at the Sudbury courthouse, where Plaunt was ordered to stand trial on 17 charges.

There was a court order banning publication of all evidence presented at the preliminary hearing.

Plaunt, 63, was originally charged with 25 counts of sexual assault and sexual interference, many of them dating back more than 30 years ago.

Plaunt has been a criminal defence lawyer in Greater Sudbury for more than 30 years.

He was first charged with numerous offences in the summer of 2003 and had further charges filed against him last spring after it was alleged he had violated some of his bail conditions.

Plaunt was incarcerated for seven weeks before being granted bail last June. Plaunt?s friends and family had to pledge a surety of $500,000 to ensure his release.

Plaunt was represented by Toronto lawyer Michael Lacy during the preliminary hearing, but he?s expected to be represented by renowned criminal defence lawyer Edward Greenspan when the matter proceeds to trial.

Plaunt is expected to go to trial late this year or early in 2006.