Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Diary contains sex secret

Judge's accuser wrote he was paid $500 to 'do' neighbour's wife

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He's painted himself as the victim of a corrupt system whose life and career have been ruined by a kinky Manitoba judge and her lawyer husband.

But Alex Chapman found himself on the hot seat Wednesday at a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry into the judge's conduct, struggling to explain evidence that shows he's apparently no stranger to the type of sexual tryst he claims disgusted him.

Diary entries submitted to the Canadian Judicial Council include several references by Chapman to receiving $500 weekly to "do" his elderly neighbour's wife in 2003. Chapman was clearly caught off-guard by the legal bombshell dropped by Sheila Block, the lawyer representing Queen's Bench Justice Lori Douglas.

Before showing him the writings -- which were seized as part of the CJC investigation into Douglas -- Block had asked Chapman if he had any financial arrangement with the neighbour that he wanted to disclose. Chapman said the man was paying him to help teach his wife how to use a computer.

But Chapman's own words paint a much more sordid picture, one he was unable to explain during often tense cross-examination. The diary entries included Chapman saying the plan was for him to "flatter (the neighbour's wife) with compliments," seduce her and eventually have his neighbour "walk in on them" because the man was apparently trying to save his marriage.

"You've given an account to this (CJC) panel which I'm going to suggest to you is false," Block said.

Credibility will be key in deciding who is telling the truth in this case -- Chapman or Douglas.

The writing was done around the same time Chapman says he was being sexually harassed by Douglas, who had not yet been appointed to the bench. He was in the middle of a divorce and was being represented by Douglas' husband, Jack King.

Douglas' future on the bench is at stake as the governing body for judges weighs her fate at the public hearing. Chapman is the first of more than a dozen witnesses and will return to the stand today for a fourth day of testimony.

Block hammered away at Chapman's credibility, saying he's not the innocent he claims to be. She suggested a heavy financial motive for going after Douglas, who has repeatedly said she did nothing wrong and was herself the victim of her husband's "unimaginable betrayal in pursuit of mad and undisclosed fantasy." Douglas will testify near the end of the inquiry.

Chapman said he remembers Douglas putting her hands on different parts of his body when they met at a local restaurant one night in 2003, at the behest of King. Chapman said he went along with the plans because he feared the wrath of his lawyer and what it would mean to his ongoing divorce proceedings if he didn't go along with King's sexual fantasies involving his wife.

Block also attacked Chapman's statements Wednesday that this ordeal affected the close-knit relationship he had with his family. She confronted him with court documents and records that show an ugly history between Chapman and several family members over the years.

"There are allegations of violence, abuse, discord and fraud," Block said.

Chapman and King agreed to a $25,000 confidentiality settlement in 2003, but in 2010, Chapman broke the deal and filed a $67-million lawsuit against the couple and the law firm where they worked. The lawsuit was later dropped and King pleaded guilty to a charge of professional misconduct. The Law Society of Manitoba reprimanded King and ordered him to pay $13,650 in legal fees. He has since returned to his practice.

Douglas has been on leave since August 2010 because of the judicial-council investigation. Chapman says he broke his silence because he believes another judge who is friends with Douglas interfered in his civil court case against Winnipeg police, which was settled out of court in 2010. Under cross-examination, Chapman admitted he has "no direct proof" of such a conspiracy.

Chapman has come under fire for other issues, including evidence a copy of an employment-termination letter found on his computer had been altered to delete details of him being caught doctoring his resumé. Chapman has admitted to a history of filing civil lawsuits and small-claims suits and has a criminal past that resulted in a pardon.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 19, 2012 A4

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