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 An Ottawa lawyer, police considered a fugitive on the run for more than 5 years, made an appearance in an Ottawa courtroom accused of sexually assaulting a toddler.

John David Coon had his face hidden under a surgical mask; he appeared before a judge via video Wednesday morning. The former lawyer, who was suspended by the Law Society of Ontario in 2014 and had his licence revoked in 2016, faces charges of sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching of a young girl believed to be the daughter of a client.

Coon was arrested Saturday at the airport in Vancouver; police said he arrived from an international destination. It's unclear where Coon had been for the past five years, why he returned and where he was going.  

“I believe there's many things that need to be said, but I’d ask for people to be patient because now is not the time to be saying those things,” said Coon’s lawyer Jenny McKnight.

When asked about her professional relationship to Coon, McKnight declined to offer a response. “I'd like to save all my comments for when I’m in a better position to say many things.”

A former Ottawa lawyer ⁦@OttawaPolice⁩ believe sexually assaulted a 4 y/o girl they say was the daughter of a client at the time has been caught and arrested after fleeing 5 years ago - John David Coon is 55 ⁦@ctvottawapic.twitter.com/0d4GVVktv7

— Mike Arsalides (@MArsalidesCTV) August 7, 2019

According to findings of a review provided by the Law Society of Ontario, Coon was under investigation by police and also by the LSO for three separate incidents. The Law Society of Ontario released the following statement Wednesday.

“With respect to the charges against Mr. Coon, what we can advise is that they are very serious and troubling.”

Coon received his licence to practice law in 2006. Coon revealed he had been convicted of sexual assault in 1991.Coon was a criminal defence and family lawyer in Ottawa since 2006; he last worked at the firm Addelman, Baum, and Gilbert since 2011. Coon abruptly quit the firm in late 2013. The firm found out about the police investigation of Coon in early 2014.

Police believed coon had fled to either Thailand or Cambodia. Iinvestigators believe there may be other possible victims in this case.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sexual Assault 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.

With files from 580 CFRA's Ted Raymond.