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December 24, 1987|JOHN VOLAND | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Conservative television talk-show host Morton Downey Jr. will stand trial for assault next month in Secaucus, N.J., his attorney said this week after the state refused to drop assault charges against his client. The New York-area television personality Downey, known for his strong conservative views and sharp exchanges with guests he disagrees with, allegedly slapped AIDS educator Andrew Humm across the face after Humm swore at him during the taping of the show, which is broadcast by WWOR-TV and picked up by cable television stations around the country. The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and six months in jail, authorities said.

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