A man who says he was sexually harassed by a Manitoba judge faced accusations Monday that he is no innocent victim, but rather someone who is interested in sexual dalliances and who has a history of suing people.
Alexander Chapman was the first witness to testify at an inquiry into Lori Douglas, a Court of Queen’s Bench justice whose sexually explicit photos wound up on a website devoted to rough, interracial sex.
“You knew it was a hard-core sex site ... for interracial sex,” said independent counsel Kirsten Crain.
“You went to it. Why in the world would you have done that?” she asked Mr. Chapman.
“I didn’t know that at the time,” he responded.
“I put it to you, sir, that you went to that site and you were interested,” Ms. Crain said.
The inquiry by the Canadian Judicial Council is examining a complaint filed by Mr. Chapman in 2010. He alleges he had been the target of a strange sexual plan by Judge Douglas and her husband, Jack King, seven years earlier. At the time, Mr. King was Mr. Chapman’s divorce lawyer and Judge Douglas was a lawyer at the same firm as her husband.
Mr. Chapman, who is black, alleges he was approached by Mr. King to have sex with Judge Douglas, and was directed to Dark Cavern, a website dedicated to sex between black men and white women.
He testified Monday that the sexual innuendo started just as his divorce was being settled in 2003.
“(King) asked me if I had ever gone to the Dark Cavern site,” Mr. Chapman said.
“He urged me to go there and he mentioned ‘white princess.“’
“White princess” was the name attached to a gallery of photos including those of Judge Douglas. Some showed her in bondage gear and performing sex acts.
Mr. Chapman told the inquiry he needed a password to access the photos and Mr. King provided him with one. He said he visited the photos reluctantly and only because “the man had my divorce stuff ... he was bullying me or something like that.”
Ms. Crain repeatedly pressed Chapman as to why he continued to meet with Mr. King and look at the photos if he was offended by them or felt harassed.
“Did you ever tell (King), sir, that you just weren’t interested?” she asked Mr. Chapman.
“I didn’t say those words,” Mr. Chapman replied. “I just had a week or two left to finish my divorce.”
Mr. King and Judge Douglas have already admitted the photos are of her. But they have said all along that Mr. King was acting without Judge Douglas’s knowledge — that he uploaded the photos and approached Mr. Chapman for sex without any consent from his wife.
Mr. King has already been disciplined by the Law Society of Manitoba. He was ordered to pay $14,000 in costs and has a reprimand on his record.
Mr. Chapman conceded Monday that all his discussion about sex had been with Mr. King, and he had no evidence that Judge Douglas knew what was happening.
“You have no information to suggest that she was aware that her pictures were on the Internet,” Ms. Crain said.
“I’m under the impression she had to know. She clearly posed for those pictures,” Mr. Chapman replied.
Mr. Chapman occasionally wiped tears from his eyes as he testified. On one occasion, he appeared to get angry at the attacks on his credibility.
“Let’s all go take a polygraph test, because I don’t have time for this witch hunt,” he told Ms. Crain.
Mr. Chapman filed a sexual harassment claim against Mr. King in 2003 and was given $25,000 in exchange for returning all the photos and agreeing to never discuss the matter. He broke that agreement in 2010, saying he was still suffering stress.
At the same time, Mr. Chapman filed separate lawsuits against Mr. King, Judge Douglas and their former law firm. The lawsuits were quickly dropped or dismissed.
At Monday’s hearing, Ms. Crain pointed out that Mr. Chapman has had other involvement with the courts. Mr. Chapman, who was born Lenard Quaccoo, filed two lawsuits against the Winnipeg Police Service alleging false arrest, she said. One lawsuit was either withdrawn or dismissed. One is still pending.
Mr. Chapman has also been embroiled in several small-claims court proceedings, Ms. Crain said. And he has been arrested on two occasions for assault, although those charges were dropped.
“You’ve been in criminal proceedings, you’ve been in civil proceedings and you’ve been in small claims court proceedings,” Ms. Crain said.
Judge Douglas is facing four allegations:
— that she sexually harassed Mr. Chapman.
— that she failed to disclose the issue when she was screened for a judicial appointment in 2005.
— that she didn’t fully disclose some facts to the inquiry and changed a 2003 entry in her personal diary in 2010.
— that the very existence of photos have undermined confidence in the justice system and her ability to act as a judge.
The hearing into Judge Douglas’s future is scheduled to run until the end of next week.
Such inquiries are rare. The judicial council has held them nine times across the country in 40 years. It has only once recommended that a judge be removed.
In 2009, the council recommended to the federal government that Paul Cosgrove be removed as a justice of the Ontario Superior Court due to incompetence and abuse of his powers. Mr. Cosgrove resigned before the federal government could make its decision.