Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sleaze factor makes one feel dirty

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Jack King did Associate Justice Lori Douglas no favours as he testified Tuesday in front of a judicial panel that will decide his wife's future on the bench.

He claimed memory lapses so large as to make a leaky sieve appear seaworthy. He was testy. He admitted to lying. Through it all, he insisted Douglas had no clue he was posting graphic pictures of her online and inviting black men to "seduce" her.

That lovely, romantic word belies his real intention. He wanted to find men willing to engage in a threesome with Douglas and himself. He offered pornographic shots of Douglas as bait. His wife was blind to his sexual ambitions, he testified.

Apparently there was much Douglas didn't know. She couldn't adjust the settings on the camera the couple used for both vacation snaps and their kinky photos. Neither of them knew how to check their digital photos after they were taken, he said.

While King painted himself as technologically inept, Douglas was apparently even less skilled. He was in charge of downloading the photos onto their home computer, a machine he says his wife never touched. She was able to use her work computer "in a very limited way."

King printed out the family pictures for their albums. The naked ones? Well, eventually King would find the savvy to locate an Internet site dedicated to interracial sex and post his wife's photos on it. In the meantime, he hid them in a password-protected file on the home computer.

And what did his clever wife think he was doing with the porn? According to King, she never asked. They started with Polaroids, which he hid in his sock drawer, whisking them away before they went to bed. Did she have access to them, asked inquiry lawyer Guy Pratte.

"She had the ability were she to root around my belongings looking for an envelope," King answered, clearly believing that would never happen.

At one point, Pratte had to caution King to be careful with the pink file folder he was holding. It contained copies of his wife's naked pics, some of them slipping slightly into view.

In the late 1990s, the couple was shooting film. King paid someone in Winnipeg to develop the porn, keeping the pictures in a locked drawer in his legal office. Douglas, testified her husband, didn't know he had them developed.

"The immediate excitement was the taking of the pictures," he said. Again, Douglas didn't ask what happened to the film. "I don't think she ever put her mind to it."

It follows that his incurious wife had no idea King would use those photos in an attempt to attract men of colour to join them during a 2002 family holiday to Cancun. The first week, the couple was there with their young son, his daughter and the daughter's friend. The second week, the girls went home and Douglas's father joined them. There were no takers on his offer to join them in Mexico.

The story of how King came to involve client Alex Chapman in his fantasies was marked by King's repeated inability to remember meetings, emails and conversations.

"I certainly have no recollection of it," he said in a variety of ways.

Yes, he suggested to Chapman that Douglas was interested in being seduced (there's that sweet word again) by a black man. Yes, a paragraph in an affidavit King signed in 2011 suggested Douglas and King both had access to the pictures. No, that wasn't accurate.

He admitted he lied to Chapman about his wife's interest in a threesome and lied to Douglas about why he set up two meetings with his black client. So much lying, so much memory loss.

Near the end of the day, King called his betrayal of his wife "bizarre, stupid, indulgent, grotesque and so on."

What more can you say about a man who takes his wife for lunch to Homer's Restaurant to tell her he is being blackmailed because of his sleazy actions and that her reputation is ruined as a consequence?

It's a good bet everyone who listened to King's testimony Tuesday went home and took a long, hot shower. Even the most memory-challenged will remember his testimony as 50 shades of appalling.

lindor.reynolds@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 25, 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.
 
lindor.reynolds@freepress.mb.ca

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