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Naked Cover Up
September 9, 2010 permalink
Following an accusation against Manitoba judge Lori Douglas, the police are seizing her accuser's computer, with the naked pictures.
When this story The Judge's New Clothes first hit the press, we defended the judge. In view of today's development, the time to defend the judge is over.
Court orders seizure of computers in Manitoba judge sex scandal
WINNIPEG — Sheriff's officers have been ordered to seize all computers and files belonging to a Winnipeg man who claims he was sexually harassed by a Manitoba judge and her lawyer husband.
Queen's Bench Justice Joan McKelvey made the ruling Thursday following a heated, two-hour court hearing in which Alexander Chapman claimed he is the victim of a racist, corrupt justice system.
"I'm a black guy who has dirt on top officials. Tell me, where do black people get fair treatment in our system?" Chapman said outside court.
McKelvey said the unusual order was necessary because there is evidence Chapman still has material evidence in his possession — including explicit nude photos of Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas — which violates a previous legal agreement.
She said sheriff's officers can go to Chapman's home between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. next Monday and take possession of all relevant material, which will then be placed in storage and will not examined by anyone pending further court arguments.
"This is not to be a fishing expedition," said McKelvey.
Chapman told court he is trying to obtain a lawyer to represent him but is having difficulty because so many in Manitoba have connections to the parties involved in the case. He said he plans to bring a motion seeking to have all Manitoba Queen's Bench judges "disqualified" from hearing any further arguments about this case on the grounds there is a perception of bias.
If he is successful, the Manitoba justice system would have to bring in a judge or judges from outside the province to handle future hearings.
Chapman, 44, came forward last week with allegations his former lawyer, Jack King, tried to coerce him into having sex with King's wife, Lori Douglas, while representing him on a divorce case in 2003. He also said King sent him numerous explicit nude photographs of Douglas, who was a lawyer at the time in the same firm of Thompson Dorfman Sweatman.
Douglas was appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench family division in 2005 but announced last week she was temporarily removing herself from the bench pending the completion of the ongoing investigation.
Chapman has also filed a $67 million lawsuit against Douglas, King and their former law firm. King has filed a countersuit against Chapman, alleging he breached terms of a confidentiality agreement which was struck in 2003.
That deal saw King pay Chapman $25,000. In exchange, Chapman agreed to return all photos of Douglas, to not seek legal action and not speak publicly about the case.
Chapman told court Thursday the seizure of his computers will likely affect his lawsuit against King and Douglas.
"All my evidence, all my private matters are on that computer," he said. "How am I supposed to defend myself?"
McKelvey admits this will be an "intrusion" on Chapman but said the circumstances have deemed it necessary.
"There is a definite concern evidence may be lost or those materials distributed further than they already have," she said. "Clearly he has not abided by terms of his 2003 settlement agreement."
King's lawyer, Bill Gange, asked McKelvey to find Chapman in contempt Thursday for failing to turn over all of the pictures of Douglas, as she ordered during a hearing last week.
Chapman said he has made efforts to get the materials back from people he sent them to over the years, but many have refused. McKelvey has now ordered him to compile a detailed list of all people who were given the pictures, which will allow Gange to make separate motions against them.
Chapman also said a pornographic website which previously hosted pictures of Douglas has now put them back online in an attempt to capitalize on the publicity this case has received.
"They're now charging people to see them, making money off them. I didn't send them to them, I have no control over that," he said.
Chapman said he is angry at being painted as the enemy. He initially refused to provide his home address to officials, saying his life is in jeopardy.
"For seven years I've been living in hell," he said.
Chapman also accused King's lawyer of "slander" for bringing up the fact he was convicted of arson and uttering threats in 1993 in an attempt to discredit him. Chapman says he received a pardon for his crimes, which are registered under his previous legal name of Lenard Quaccoo.
McKelvey refused to hear any further argument on the issue, telling Chapman to file a formal motion against Gange if he wishes to pursue the issue further.
"I plan to," he said.
Source: Winnipeg Free Press
Addendum: The scandal is being disposed of without any significant penalty to any of the principals.
Lawyer pleads guilty to misconduct for pressuring client to have sex with lawyer's wife
A Winnipeg lawyer pleaded guilty to professional misconduct, admitting he pressured a client to have sex with his wife.
On Monday, Jack King admitted before the Law Society of Manitoba to sexual harassment, conflict of interest and failing to conduct himself with integrity.
Alexander Chapman, King's former client, said he was given nude photos of King's wife Lori Douglas in 2003.
She was named a family court judge two years later.
At the hearing Monday morning, Jack King offered the panel an apology and said his behaviour was disgraceful.
"To my wife, I could never apologize enough," said King.
"She did nothing wrong," said King, "She trusted me when she shouldn't have."
Alexander Chapman had been calling for King to be suspended or disbarred. He said he didn't believe the apology.
"He took advantage of me and brainwashed me to prepare me for Lori Douglas," said Chapman.
King admitted sharing photos with Chapman, but King's lawyer said his client was depressed at the time and acted without his wife's knowledge.
A joint recommendation was presented to the panel that King should not be suspended or disbarred, and should instead face fines.
Monday afternoon, a Law Society panel released its decision.
It ordered King pay Law Society costs of $13,650.
Chapman criticized the panel's decision.
"This was a kangaroo system (they've) got here, honestly," said Chapman.
He had previously been trying to launch multi-million-dollar lawsuits against Douglas, King and the law firm King worked for, but those cases were later dropped or thrown out.
The Law Society panel called King's actions an abuse of power, but said it was confident it was a one-time incident.
In addition to the fine, he's been restricted from practicing outside Manitoba.
"He will have to apply in each province - that's a real impediment in today's world where lawyers do cross borders," said Allan Fineblit, CEO of the Law Society.
Lori Douglas is also currently not hearing any cases until an investigation by the Canadian Judicial Council is completed.