Toronto lawyer faces self-discipline for declare 14-year-old lady is a ‘sexually mature younger girl’

Toronto lawyer faces self-discipline for declare 14-year-old lady is a ‘sexually mature younger girl’

Whereas representing a youngsters’s help society in a sexual abuse lawsuit, Toronto lawyer Gary McCallum said in court docket data in 2018 {that a} 14- or 15-year-old lady will not be a toddler, however a “sexually mature younger girl.”

He’s now going through self-discipline proceedings over that assertion, in accordance with a discover filed this week by Ontario’s authorized regulator.

As first reported by the Star in March 2019, McCallum made the feedback in an affidavit filed in court docket the earlier yr, because the lawyer representing Kenora-Wet River Districts Baby and Household Companies within the lawsuit.

On condition that he was their lawyer, McCallum’s place was successfully the kids’s help society’s place, authorized specialists identified.

Amid outrage from the general public and provincial authorities, the company fired McCallum a few day after the Star’s story was printed, saying his assertion was “appalling and insupportable.”

Kenora CFS initially refused to say when it grew to become conscious that McCallum was advancing such a place in court docket on its behalf, solely to later acknowledge it realized of McCallum’s assertion months earlier than the Star printed its first story.

McCallum is now going through an allegation {of professional} misconduct earlier than the Regulation Society Tribunal. A discover of software filed this week alleges he “did not act honourably and with integrity” when he made the assertion within the affidavit.

A listening to date has not but been set. McCallum didn’t return a request for remark Friday.

The lawsuit was introduced by a girl alleging she was sexually abused as a toddler by her foster father within the Nineteen Eighties whereas beneath the care of the kids’s help society’s predecessor group. McCallum made the assertion in a July 2018 affidavit responding to an affidavit from the plaintiff’s lawyer, Simona Jellinek.

“She states that the alleged assaults came about whereas the plaintiff was ‘in childhood,’” McCallum states, earlier than noting that the plaintiff’s yr of beginning signifies she would have been about 14 or 15 within the early Nineteen Eighties.

“A fourteen or fifteen (sic) lady is a sexually mature younger girl, not a ‘youngster,’ because the time period is conventionally understood,” McCallum said.

Ontario’s Baby and Household Companies Act, which governs youngsters’s help societies, is evident that an individual beneath 18 is a toddler.

“The truth that the Regulation Society is taking this sort of conduct critically and is pursuing disciplinary prices is an important step towards recognizing the irreparable hurt that was completed to my shopper, and sends a transparent message that such conduct is to not be tolerated,” Jellinek mentioned Friday.

After the Star printed its story in 2019, Ontario’s then-Minister of Youngsters, Group and Social Companies, Lisa MacLeod, mentioned she was “disgusted” by McCallum’s assertion and “embarrassed” {that a} lawyer performing for a youngsters’s help society would say such a factor.

Jellinek mentioned on the time that the Kenora company’s government director Invoice Leonard “had numerous alternatives” to analyze McCallum’s assertion, however didn’t.

“Mr. McCallum’s retainer was terminated solely after the Star printed this story,” she mentioned in 2019. “One questions why Mr. Leonard waited so lengthy to take correct and speedy motion concerning this offensive place.”

When first contacted by the Star in March 2019, Kenora CFS refused to say when it grew to become conscious that McCallum had made the assertion, nor whether or not it deliberate to rectify it in court docket, aside from to say it disagreed together with his “inaccurate” place.

After the company fired McCallum, Leonard mentioned the primary time he noticed the July 2018 affidavit was when the Star despatched it to him for remark in 2019.

A number of days later, Leonard acknowledged that the plaintiff had contacted him concerning the assertion in October 2018, and that he had additionally seen the assertion quoted in a court docket ruling from the case in January 2019.

Leonard mentioned he was “puzzled” after studying the plaintiff’s letter, provided that the July 2018 affidavit that he had on file didn’t comprise the “sexually mature” remark.

McCallum informed the Star in an e mail in 2019 that Leonard’s account that he noticed a unique affidavit than the one filed in court docket is “right,” however didn’t present additional particulars.


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