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Man charged in Antigonish Co. sexual assault has trial adjourned

A suspect facing four charges in connection with a sexual assault in Antigonish Co. is scheduled to return to court in the New Year.

RCMP say a woman was assaulted at a house party at the Paq'tnkek First Nation in Afton in May 2016; she reported it to police eight days later.

They say the incident, which they consider a serious sexual assault, wasn't random- the complainant and suspect knew each other.

Issiah Thomas Julian, 20, of Paq'tnkek, has been charged with aggravated sexual assault, forcible confinement, uttering threats and a breach; he pleaded not guilty to all four counts in July 2016.

Julian's four-day trial was expected to get underway in Antigonish Provincial Court Tuesday; instead, his Legal Aid lawyer requested an adjournment.

It's now scheduled to start Jan. 11; it's the fourth time the trial dates have changed.

Julian had also faced charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, possession of dangerous weapons and four breaches in relation to a Nov. 2015 attack in Paq'tnkek.

Police say they found a variety of weapons, including a machete, knives and nun chucks, when they searched a Paq'tnkek home after that incident was reported.

A judge ruled there wasn't enough evidence to send the case to trial following an October preliminary inquiry in Antigonish Provincial Court, and his attempted murder and aggravated assault counts were discharged; he has pleaded guilty to three breaches in the case.

A possession of dangerous weapons charge will be dealt with when he's sentenced on the breaches.

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