A trial date for George Tiller will likely be set Tuesday, his lawyers said today, after a judge refused to dismiss 19 misdemeanor charges against the Wichita abortion provider.

But lawyer Dan Monnat said this afternoon that any trial would follow hearings over the legality of how the Kansas Attorney General’s Office obtained the women’s abortion records from Tiller’s clinic that led to the charges against him.

Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens ruled earlier this afternoon that the case against Tiller should proceed, after he found the Kansas abortion statute is constitutional.

Owen’s ruling came more than a year after the Kansas Attorney General’s Office filed the charges, accusing Tiller of breaking a 1998 state law requiring that a second, independent Kansas physician sign off on most late-term abortions.

Prosecutors say Tiller relied on Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus, of Nortonville, for his second opinion for abortions in 2003, and she had a financial relationship with him that is against the law.

Reach Ron Sylvester at 316-268-6514 or [email protected]. All content © 2008 THE WICHITA EAGLE and may not be republished without permission.