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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Man makes court appearance In a Ontario court room accused of faking suicide to avoid trial for attempted murder and sex assault

Bizarre court appearance for Ontario man accused of faking suicide to avoid trial


PETERBOROUGH, ON - A man accused of faking his own death in a bid to escape trial for sexual assault and attempted murder made a bizarre court appearance Tuesday morning.
The accused can't be named due to a court-ordered publication ban.
The 49-year-old disappeared on April 7, a week before he was to go on trial. He left a suicide note. His 18-year-old son was reported missing the same day.
CN rail police arrested the pair on May 5 in Levis, QC.
During Tuesday's court appearance, the justice of the peace asked the accused to identify himself and give his date of birth - routine questions for all prisoners when they're brought before the court.
"Joseph Williams," the man said, without hesitation. That is not the man's real name.
The Crown attorney asked him if he ever went by another name.
"That's what I'm being told," he replied. "I guess so."
He listened as the clerk read out his most recent charge, breaching a condition of his bail.
He is to appear in court via video on July 30.
He and his son are also scheduled to appear in court in nearby Lindsay, ON Wednesday. Warrants for their arrests were issued from that court April 15.
The accused was originally arrested in May 2010 after a woman told police she'd been doused in a flammable liquid and threatened with fire after she refused to perform a sexual act in an Oshawa, ON, hotel room.
He was charged with attempted murder, sexual assault, forcible confinement, assault and uttering a death threat. Investigators later charged him with two counts of sexual assault against the same woman between 1994 and 2002 and three counts of touching a person under the age of 14 for a sexual purpose.
The man's son was going to be a witness in the trial.
The accused disappeared in the middle of the night one week before his trial was set to start. Police in Port Hope, ON, found some of his clothing and another suicide note on the Lake Ontario shoreline.
The son disappeared after telling friends he was going to visit another friend.
When they were apprehended, the two gave police fake names and had an illegal, loaded shotgun with them.
Both pleaded guilty to charges of obstructing police and unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon in a Quebec courtroom last week. Both were given sentences of three months plus 18 days in jail.
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