Mountie Claims Canadian Press Defamed Him
VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer caught up in a scandal after racy photos of him were leaked to a newspaper claims in court that the Pacific Newspaper Group defamed him in articles falsely linking him to an alleged coverup of the crimes of serial killer Robert "Willy" Pickton.
James Charles Brown sued the Pacific Newspaper Group, Postmedia Network, columnist Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun publisher Kevin D. Bent, Wayne Moriarty (the complaint misidentifies Moriarty as editor-in-chief of the Vancouver Sun; he is, in fact, the editor-in-chief of the group's Province Newspaper), former National Post editor Stephen Meurice, columnist Brian Hutchinson, and former Post publisher Doug Kelly.
Brown claims he played a "minor role" in the Pickton investigation in its early stages, which included surveillance shifts, and passing on information to another police agency about an informant.
In July 2012, photographs wrongfully obtained from his personal account on the Kinkster social media site Fetlife were leaked to Mulgrew, who wrote a column implying that the racy photos were "reminiscent of Robert Pickton's crimes," Brown says in the complaint.
Mulgrew's column contains innuendo that falsely links Brown to Pickton's crimes, and that he was "sexually aroused by the crimes committed by Pickton," the complaint states.
Media outlets all over Canada pounced on the story, the complaint says. The Vancouver Sun published a partial retraction when it learned that some of the photos it obtained had not actually been of Brown.
"The defendants recklessly abused and harassed the plaintiff, invited others to abuse and harass the plaintiff, and recklessly inflicted mental distress and suffering on the plaintiff," the complaint states. "The plaintiff also experienced embarrassment, anxiety and depression, and has undergone medical treatment and counseling, all of which was foreseen or ought to have been foreseen by the defendants."
In late 2012, Brown sued attorney A. Cameron Ward, alleged photo-leaker Grant Wakefield and two Doe defendants, alleging defamation.
In the new lawsuit, Brown seeks injunctions restraining further publication of the alleged defamatory words and photographs, a full retraction and apology in the National Post and Vancouver Sun, in addition to general, special, aggravated, and punitive damages.
He is represented by Bryan Baynham with Harper Grey in Vancouver.
Pickton, a former millionaire pig farmer, was convicted in 2007 of murdering six women. He is suspected of having killed dozens.