Lawyer Grills Brother of Accused Child Sex Abuser at Cornwall Inquiry

November 29, 2007

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A man who lobbied the Ontario government in the 1990s, alleging police were charging innocent people with sexual abuse, was accused of lying when he took the stand at the Cornwall Public Inquiry on Wednesday.

Doug Seguin is the brother of Ken Seguin, a former Cornwall probation officer who killed himself after learning police were going to charge him in relation to sexual abuse allegations.

Doug Seguin told the commission his late brother Ken Seguin, a former Cornwall probation officer, was a victim of false accusations and said some men made up stories about being abused as boys in order to get compensation.

Ken Seguin killed himself after learning police were going to charge him in relation to complaints from men supervised as boys by Seguin and his colleague, Nelson Barque. The complainants said Seguin and Barque plied them with booze and drugs and then extorted sexual favours from them.

The community had long been divided between those who alleged pedophiles were preying on boys without fear of punishment and those such as Doug Seguin, who believed police were under public pressure to accuse innocent people.

During his testimony, Seguin faced questions about alleged factual errors in his personal notes and letters to the government.

In that correspondence, he said he had inside knowledge of the abuse allegations and that no sexual abuse was happening in the community. Despite Seguin's claims, some men were convicted, including Barque, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four months in jail and 18 months probation for sexual abuse.

Dallas Lee, a lawyer for the Victims Group representing dozens of people who said they were sexually abused, asked Seguin why his letters and notes contained incorrect dates and mismatched accused sex abusers with the wrong allegations.

"Sir, I would suggest you do or say almost anything if the end result would be to clear your brother's name," Lee said.

"Absolutely not true," Seguin responded.

"Sir, you have lied time and again … and you will continue to lie in order to advance your interest," Lee continued.

Seguin answered: "I might have made conclusions, but I've never lied."

The inquiry was to hear Thursday from Peter Sirrs, a former director of Cornwall area probation services, who wrote a report outlining Barque's sexual misconduct.

The inquiry is looking into how authorities responded to dozens of accusations that men in the eastern Ontario community had sexually abused children over decades.

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