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Manitoba Judge Denies Sex Allegations Against Her

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A Manitoba judge in the middle of a sex controversy is denying claims that she knowingly participated with her husband in sexually harassing a man, calling such allegations "a complete fabrication."

In a written response to the Canadian Judicial Council obtained by CBC News, Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas says she "has been the victim of wrongdoing" by her husband, lawyer Jack King, and by Alex Chapman, the man who filed the complaint against her.

Chapman filed the complaint with the council in July 2010, alleging that King tried to pressure him into having sex with Douglas in 2003.

Chapman said when he retained King to handle his divorce, the lawyer showed him sexually explicit photos of Douglas naked in various forms of bondage, with sex toys and performing oral sex.

The photographs also appeared on a pornographic website where white women looked for black men to have sex.

Both King and Douglas were lawyers and partners with a Winnipeg law firm at the time.

Douglas stepped away from her duties as a judge with the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench after Chapman's complaint was filed.

The Canadian Judicial Council is conducting an inquiry into Douglas's conduct, based on Chapman's allegations. It held a preliminary hearing in Winnipeg in May.

The review could lead to her removal from the bench.

Speaking out for 1st time

Douglas's statement, filed by her lawyers on Wednesday, responds to a notice of allegations the council sent to her on May 29.

"This response represents the first time that [Douglas's] account of the events in question will be heard," her statement reads in part.

Douglas insists that she had no knowledge of King's plans involving Chapman.

"The notice of allegation states that Ms. Douglas knowingly participated with King in the sexual harassment of Chapman. This charge against Douglas … is a complete fabrication. She has been the victim of wrongdoing by both her husband (King) and Chapman," the statement says.

"Her husband, in acts of unimaginable betrayal, in pursuit of a mad and undisclosed fantasy, solicited Chapman to have sex with … Ms. Douglas," it adds.

"King emailed Chapman intimate photos of his wife and posted certain other intimate photos on a website to which he directed Chapman, all without any knowledge of Ms. Douglas."

It wasn't until June 2003 that King was "compelled to tell her what he has done," her statement said.

Douglas also accuses Chapman of viewing King's behaviour "as an opportunity to obtain money from King and his law firm, to make both himself and his lawyer rich" by claiming sexual harassment against King.

Her statement notes that Chapman filed a series of legal actions in 2010 against King and Douglas — who by then was a judge — seeking roughly $67 million in damages. His lawsuit was dismissed.

Changed word in diary?

The judicial council's notice of allegation claims that Douglas changed an entry in her personal diary that described an encounter she had with Chapman "which she knew or ought to have known was relevant to the investigation."

The council's notice also alleges that Douglas then "intentionally made incorrect representations" to the council's independent counsel about that changed entry.

Douglas responded that she did change an adjective in her gardening diary in 2010 that "had originally referred to the previous afternoon, not to Chapman."

Douglas "admits changing the word out of anger at Chapman's false allegation that had been made against her in the media," her statement said.

"She had no intention of misleading anyone. She did not anticipate that the diary would be evidence in the inquiry process," it added.

As for the claim that she made incorrect representations to the independent counsel, Douglas said she got a phone call about the diary entry in February but she was "at home alone and in no condition to have been trying to respond to questions."

She corrected her answer at a later time and has been fully co-operating with the independent counsel since then, she added.

The allegations by the judicial council's review have not been proven. Evidence will be heard starting June 25.