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The Globe and Mail

Complainant says he never talked sex with Manitoba judge in naked photos case

A man who says he was sexually harassed by a Manitoba judge acknowledged Tuesday he never had any discussion with her about sex, but insisted she was part of a strange plan of sexual harassment that included two meetings at a Winnipeg bar.

"She had to know why she was there. (Her husband) had been trying to convince her to get into this stuff with me," Alexander Chapman told the Canadian Judicial Council inquiry into Lori Douglas, an associate chief justice of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench.

The inquiry is examining whether Judge Douglas should be removed from the bench because of Mr. Chapman's complaint and because of sexually explicit photos of her that were posted online.

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Mr. Chapman alleges he had been the target of a sexual plan by Judge Douglas and her husband, Jack King, in 2003. 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. On that website were two dozen photos of Judge Douglas, some of which showed her in bondage gear or performing sex acts.

Mr. King and Judge Douglas have maintained all along that Mr. King uploaded the photos and approached Mr. Chapman for sex without Judge Douglas's knowledge. The couple have remained married, and have said Mr. King was going through a mental breakdown at the time. Mr. King has already been sanctioned by the Law Society of Manitoba for professional misconduct.

Under questioning Tuesday, Mr. Chapman admitted that all the phone calls, emails and other communication he had about sex were with Mr. King only.

"This is all from him. You never received anything from her, did you?," asked Kirsten Crain, one of the independent lawyers leading the inquiry.

"No," Mr. Chapman agreed.

The only direct interaction between Judge Douglas and Mr. Chapman occurred during two meetings at a downtown bar in May, 2003. In the first, Mr. Chapman said there was no flirtation. During the second, Mr. Chapman alleges Judge Douglas touched his body as the two discussed exercise.

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"She touched my muscles on my arm and ... my thighs," Mr. Chapman told the inquiry.

"No, we never talked about sex, no."

Mr. Chapman then walked Judge Douglas back to her car as Mr. King remained at the bar, he testified, and as she left, she said she was looking forward to seeing him that weekend – an apparent reference to a proposal Mr. King had made to Mr. Chapman to come to the couple's home for sex.

Through affidavits and her lawyer's opening arguments, Judge Douglas has denied ever touching Mr. Chapman, walking with him to the car, and being involved in the sex plan. Judge Douglas has said she went to the bar to meet her husband, was surprised on both occasions to see Mr. Chapman there, and went home shortly afterward both times.

Judge Douglas's lawyer, Sheila Block, has said Judge Douglas was the unwitting victim of "unforgivable betrayal" by her husband, and should not be further penalized by losing her job.

Mr. Chapman said he cannot believe Judge Douglas was unaware of her husband's actions.

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"She knew. I mean, she was obviously talking with Jack," he said.

"She can't be in no public office. That's not right."

The inquiry will also examine whether Judge Douglas disclosed the controversy when she was screened for her judicial appointment in 2005. At least one other judge is expected to testify about what Judge Douglas revealed to the screening panel.

The entire controversy was supposed to be over and kept under wraps in 2003, when Mr. King paid Mr. Chapman $25,000 to settle his initial sexual harassment claim. Part of the deal was that Mr. Chapman return any explicit photos and not discuss the matter openly. But he went public in 2010, saying he could not keep silent any longer and the photos reappeared on the Internet.

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 photos have undermined confidence in the justice system and her ability to act as a judge.

Through her lawyer, Judge Douglas has denied all the allegations. She is expected to testify next week.

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