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Nick Cousins case: Pre-trial conference scheduled for December, court appearance in mid-January

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Nick Cousins wasn't in court on Monday, but next steps were hammered out in the sexual assault case during a hearing in Ontario. Via the Sault Ste. Marie Star:

A judicial pre-trial conference in a sexual assault case involving three players with the Soo Greyhounds has been scheduled for Dec. 20.

The three accused weren't present Monday when the date was confirmed in a Sault Ste. Marie courtroom.

According to the paper, a pre-trial conference is a meeting between the Crown laywers (that's Canadian for prosecutor, because Canada is awesome), defense attorneys and the judge. Cousins and fellow defendants/teammates Andrew Fritsch and Nick Petaccio are due in court again on Jan. 14. Petaccio is a native of Sicklerville.

Cousins is probably the Flyers top prospect, at least at the junior level. So far, the charges against him have not impacted his OHL season, as he's the leading scorer on the Soo Greyhounds and fifth in the league with eight goals and 19 assists in 18 games. OHL officials denied that Cousins was left off of their Super Series team because of the charges, both his exclusion rightfully raises questions given his elite status in the league.