Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Accuser alleged sex performer
Chapman said nude judge pics were offensive but had porn collection
Documents filed in the Federal Court of Canada allege Alex Chapman worked as an online sex performer, had a collection of pornography on his work computer and was accused of asking a bank in his native Trinidad and Tobago how to transfer millions of dollars from Canada.
Sarah Whitmore, a member of Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas's legal team, filed the affidavit to support a motion calling for an end to a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry into the judge's alleged misbehaviour.
Douglas's team filed the motion because it believes the inquiry panel interfered with the proceedings by directing the independent counsel to treat Chapman gently during his cross-examination. The legal team has officially protested the assertive questioning of Douglas's husband, Jack King, and former legal partner Michael Sinclair by commission counsel George Macintosh.
The judge's future on the bench is in question after allegations were made that she and her husband sexually harassed one of her husband's former clients and then paid him to keep quiet about it. That client, Chapman, complained to the Canadian Judicial Council in 2010, seven years after the alleged incident took place. The council is the body tasked with overseeing judicial conduct.
The affidavit filed Friday details Chapman's 2010 firing from Great-West Life and provides a transcript of King's 2011 apology to the Manitoba Law Society.
It also contains the release Chapman signed in 2003 after accepting a $25,000 settlement from King. He promised to destroy photos of Douglas and never again discuss the case. Evidence in the affidavit shows when he signed the letter, he had already sent some photos and King's emails to a friend and directed him to the website where King had posted the images of Douglas.
In 2010, Chapman released the photos to the media and filed a lawsuit against the couple and their former law firm. That suit was dismissed.
In one transcript, one of Douglas's lawyers, Sheila Block, questions Chapman's claims he was disgusted by the graphic pictures sent by King because Chapman had his own porn collection.
"As you know," she said in court, "his computer was seized, and it includes a lot of sexual material, a lot of graphic images, and he received images from women he was having relations with that are saved on his filing system. He signed up as an online sex performer for money."
There was a brief interruption in the proceedings and then Block continued:
"But when he talks, as he has with the investigators, about how offensive the photos were and the suggestion of sexual activity and how he just had to come forward seven years later because he was so burdened by it all, I want to put in this evidence because, at the end of the day, I will want to argue that this is an act, it's inconsistent with the record."
Chapman, the record shows, advertised himself online as a casual sex partner for strangers as well as willing to perform sex acts for cash. The website was Online Booty.
Much of Chapman's online behaviour came to light in 2010, when he was fired by Great-West Life. He had been asked to discuss discrepancies in his resumé, unapproved software downloaded on his computer and the presence of 780 porn images. During the inquiry, Chapman claimed not to remember or recognize emails he was sent by Great-West Life or letters he signed.
In August 2010, Chapman met with Great-West Life's assistant vice-president of the special investigations unit. He admitted he had no university degree, a claim he'd made on his resumé. He got upset when he was asked if he'd ever gone by another name, a fact not revealed when he applied for a job.
"When asked why, he initially said it was personal and would not discuss it," a report of the meeting said. "He later explained he changed his name and moved to Winnipeg to escape an ex-spouse who was crazy and was stalking him."
In the same meeting, Chapman admitted he had been charged with assault and theft in Trinidad in an incident involving his mother.
The questioning about his inquiries about transferring vast sums of money out of Canada and into Tobago began.
"Chapman became very upset by the question. He initially denied ever attending to the bank. I told Chapman that we had information that he made inquiries at the Scotiabank in Scarborough (Tobago) about transferring millions of dollars from Canada," the Great-West Life representative reported.
"He denied this. He later acknowledged that he had likely been to that branch as his father has an account there and he would take his father to the bank."
Chapman launched his $67-million lawsuit against King, Douglas and their former law firm in 2010.
He was fired and escorted out of the Great-West Life building after the 50-minute meeting.
The affidavit supports claims by former independent counsel Guy Pratte and Douglas's legal team that the Canadian Judicial Council committee wanted Chapman to be handled with kid gloves. Macintosh admonished independent counsel Kirsten Crain for "overly aggressive" questioning of Chapman. That conversation, Whitmore's affidavit states, conveyed the impression the committee wanted Chapman treated with kid gloves.
Pratte and Block later formally protested the "aggressive, adversarial" cross-examination of King and Sinclair by Macintosh. Committee lawyers do not traditionally cross-examine witnesses. Macintosh asked King more than 200 questions.
The affidavit details examples of what Sarah Whitmore calls repetitive, sarcastic and sexist questions by Macintosh. There are claims Macintosh raised allegations not connected to the Douglas case. Included in those was the implication another man's watch could be seen in a nude picture of Douglas, suggesting someone other than King and Douglas was present. That suggestion had never been raised, and King dismissed it.
The inquiry is on hold as the legal matters are decided and a new independent counsel sought.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 17, 2012 A3
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About Lindor Reynolds
National Newspaper Award winner Lindor Reynolds began work at the Free Press as a 17-year-old proofreader. It was a rough introduction to the news business.
Many years later, armed with a university education and a portfolio of published work, she was hired as a Free Press columnist. During her 20-plus years on the job she has written for every section in the paper, with the exception of Business. She’ll get around to them some day.
Lindor has received considerable recognition for her writing. Her awards include the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ general interest award and the North American Travel Journalists Association top prize.
Her work on Internet luring led to an amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada and her coverage of the child welfare system prompted a change to Manitoba Child and Family Services Act to make the safety of children paramount.
She has earned three citations of merit for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism and has been awarded a Distinguished Alumni commendation from the University of Winnipeg. Lindor was also named a YMCA/YWCA Woman of Distinction.
She is married with four daughters. If her house was on fire and the kids and dog were safe, she’d grab her passport.
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