Justice of the peace 'sexualized' female staff, review council told

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

Michele Mandel, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

TORONTO -- Justice of the peace Errol Massiah has been accused of turning his Whitby, Ont., courthouse into an uncomfortable, sexually charged workplace for his female staff.

Massiah, 58, is before a disciplinary panel of the Justices of the Peace Review Council for the second time in three years. He was already found guilty of judicial misconduct in 2012 regarding his sexual harassment of clerks at his Oshawa, Ont., court. These allegations came forward from Whitby staff while the first hearing was going on.

"You deliberately and intentionally sexualized them and your interaction with them," charged presenting counsel Marie Henein during her cross-examination of Massiah.

She rejected his argument that he was just making team-building compliments that were misinterpreted.

"You are doing it in a tone for them to take it in a sexual, leering way because that's how you conduct yourself with women who are in a lower position than you," the lawyer argued.

Five women from the Whitby court have testified that they witnessed Massiah making inappropriate comments or leering gazes between 2007 and 2010. Two male witnesses also told the hearing that they also saw the JP's "embarrassing" conduct.

He's accused of "undressing" women with his eyes and inviting clerks into his chambers when he had his shirt off. He's alleged to have hovered over a clerk and touched her shoulders in a "sensual and sexual way." He's accused of staring at the chest of a female JP and whispering flirtatious words in the ear of a provincial prosecutor.


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