Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Burden too much to carry: accuser

Says he's been unfairly painted as an extortionist

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The man whose allegations sparked a scandal that has rocked the province's legal community defended on Wednesday his decision to disclose his claim a Manitoba judge and her lawyer husband tried to lure him sexually.

Alex Chapman, 44, told the Free Press he's carried a heavy burden for the past seven years. Although the incidents happened in 2003, he said he's kept quiet because he feared the judge could influence a ongoing civil matter that only ended earlier this year.

Chapman alleges his divorce lawyer, Jack King, groomed and harassed him about having sex with his wife, Lori Douglas, a lawyer at the same firm. Douglas became a Queen's Bench Justice in 2005. He said he's angry as being painted as someone who was trying to extort money from the couple, and said King and Douglas both tried to seduce him.

Chapman, who now works as a computer specialist, said the couple were "ganging up" on him. "My body would never do what you don't want to do, even if you're hypnotized," he said.

"The guy was just torturing me mentally, to the point where I actually don't even know what I was doing."

Chapman said he was disgusted with pornographic photos King allegedly sent him, advertising his wife for sex with black men.

He said Douglas never said anything directly sexual to him.

However, Chapman said, Douglas said she looked forward to meeting him later.

He alleged Douglas discussed his legal troubles with him and told him details of her life, like a new horse she was getting.

He said out of desperation he accepted a $25,000 payment from King in exchange for a promise he wouldn't discuss the alleged incidents and would destroy the lewd pictures.

"I just wanted to get rid of these people harassing me for sexual favours," he said.

Chapman was involved in a civil matter that recently ended and he feared Douglas could influence the results of the hearing.

"The initial discussion I had with my lawyer was that the judge... presiding is a friend of Lori Douglas," he said.

"And because of that, it appears to me that I will never have a fair trial anywhere in Manitoba if Lori Douglas is a friend of every judge, you know what I mean?"

Chapman's allegations are unproven. There is no evidence of improper conduct by Douglas while she was on the bench.

gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 2, 2010 A4

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