Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Inquiry Hears Manitoba Judge May Have Known Sooner about Naked Photos Online

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Inquiry Hears Manitoba Judge May Have Known Sooner about Naked Photos Online

Article excerpt

Judge may have known sooner about naked photos

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WINNIPEG - An inquiry has been told that a Manitoba judge may have known about her naked photos on the Internet before a sexual harassment claim was ever made, although she was never pressed on the matter.

Lori Douglas, an associate chief justice of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, is being investigated by the Canadian Judicial Council for allegations that she and her husband, Jack King, harassed a man named Alexander Chapman in 2003.

At the time, Douglas and King were lawyers at the same firm, and King was Chapman's divorce lawyer.

King and Douglas have said all along that King uploaded sexually explicit photos of his wife to a website and asked Chapman to have sex with her, but did so without Douglas's knowledge.

On Friday, another partner in the firm, Michael Sinclair, testified that King told him Douglas might have known that some of the photos were online. But Sinclair said King seemed unclear, so he believed Douglas didn't know anything about her husband's actions.

"Jack was so uncertain about his statement that I didn't give it any credence," Sinclair told the inquiry.

Sinclair also said Douglas appeared shocked when he discussed the matter with her, so the law firm stood by her, didn't investigate her and never suggested she quit.

"She didn't cause those photos to be published to the Internet. I didn't think -- and don't think now -- that we should blame the victim."

Chapman's lawyer, Rocco Galati, seized upon Sinclair's statement, saying the law firm undertook only a "very anemic" review and blindly accepted the idea that Douglas was not part of the sexual harassment of Chapman.

"You took her word that she was the victim," Galati said.

"You're assuming she didn't know what (King) had done."

The five-member inquiry panel also seemed concerned about the firm's lack of an investigation into Douglas. George Macintosh, the lawyer who asks questions on the panel's behalf, asked Sinclair why no one questioned Douglas about whether she was involved in the harassment of Chapman.

"Would you accept the proposition that it was a modest investigation?" Macintosh asked. "Did you put to her King's statement that she may have known about one of the (sets of Internet photos)? …

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