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Bay of Islands man accused of drugging, sexually assaulting youth released from custody

Court news.
Court news.

A 58-year-old man accused of serious sex offences whose mental health has been reviewed at the Waterford Hospital in St. John’s recently has been released from custody.

Melvin Charles Laing of Irishtown-Summerside has eight charges against him, including two counts each of sexual assault and unlawful confinement of a girl under the age of 14.

The offences are alleged to have occurred on occasions that were roughly one year apart.

Laing is also accused of assaulting the girl with a knife, uttering threats to cut her, administering a noxious pill with the intention of sexually assaulting her and having anal sex with her, the latter offence being in violation of Section 159 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

While a report on Laing’s mental fitness was provided to the court during his appearance Tuesday, the findings of the assessment were not discussed in open court.

Crown attorney Adam Sparkes, after receiving the report, indicated he was not opposed to Laing’s release on a recognizance, pending sureties of $500 and $1,500 and that Laing abide by certain conditions.

Among those conditions is that he stay away from Irishtown-Summerside, unless in the presence of one of the two people acting as his sureties and that he have no communication with the girl he is accused of assaulting.

His next court appearance has been scheduled for July 25.

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