Photo Steve Russell
I held back on making any comment on this case just as I held off on linking it to other pages. Nothing positive was being said about Doug Brown. Except for the comment Avi Lewis made to an author that Brown had "saved his life". I respect Lewis and I have no doubt that had he been molested he would have come forward. I think he was out of the country at the time of the trial.
I have since subscribed to Court TV and have been watching, with some horror, the trial of Michael Jackson. I also followed online the trial of Michael Cardamone. And I have never been one to get all goofy over recovered memories.
One problem is that when we get into the realm of the weird and/or unspeakable, the current trend of prejudice seeps its way into the core of social consciousness, even into the minds of the weird and unspeakable who are afraid even to associate with each other. So I gave a great deal of thought before I placed any links at the top of this page. We already have enough prejudice going around -- why compound it all with guilt by association?
Doug Brown should have finished his sentence by now. He has been branded a pariah. I trust he has some friends, but not friends with enough courage to stand up for him. Or maybe they tried and were rebuffed.
Reading between the lines I gather that Doug Brown is argumentative. Difficult. I have also heard these words used to describe me. I have tried to temper my opinionated ways and actually, the Internet is a good outlet for me. Writing forces one to be more circumspect. I think, however, I have been too circumspect regarding Doug Brown. I hope he will bring his new experience online and, together with his teaching skills which UCC chose to discard, become a force for change in the justice system. -- Sheila Steele, March 20, 2001
TORONTO - Doug Brown, a former teacher at a prestigious private school in Ontario, has been found guilty on nine charges of indecent assault on young boys at the school.
In delivering his verdict Friday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Harry LaForme said he believes the hazy memories of all seven former Upper Canada College students over Brown's denials.
The judge told the court he found Brown's accounts of late night visits to the dormitory in the 1970s "fraught with serious credibility problems."
"His evidence is self-serving - it was evasive and at times argumentative," Laforme said, "and on the whole lacked the ring of truth."
Brown, 55, had pleaded not guilty on 12 charges stemming from accusations that he abused seven young boys in the school dorm rooms.
The school issued an statement following the verdict.
"We are also sorry that this happened at UCC. As a community of educators, we find this particularly distressing," said the school in a statement.
The school added that it is committed to a fair process in determining its responsibility to compensate Brown's victims.
Brown, who could face 10 years in prison, is out on bail and will be sentenced in December.
During the trial Laforme heard very different versions of what happened at the prestigious private school.
The seven accusers testified the former English teacher touched them inappropriately.
They said Brown visited them late at night in their dormitory beds when they were 11-, 12- and 13-year-old boarding students. For some, that led to depression and shame.
Brown's lawyer attacked the credibility of the witnesses and questioned why they took so long to come forward.
Brown was let go from the school in 1993 after accusations about inappropriate behaviour.
At the trial, Brown said he received a year of severance and a letter of reference from the school and was told not to talk about the scandal.
An Ontario court previously approved a settlement reached in 2003 between the school and former students who said Brown sexually touched them.
Halfway through his closing argument yesterday, in a hallway outside Superior Court, while coffee was sipped and heels cooled on a morning recess, defence lawyer Paul Stunt sighed and said "this is the case from hell."
If it was a turn of phrase grown hackneyed from overuse, it was, under the circumstances, a lament that could hardly have been more apt.
Both in its facts and the challenges presented to all concerned, the indecent assault trial of a former Upper Canada College teacher that ended yesterday was hellish to be sure.
It alleged the most deplorable of betrayals, inflicted on the most vulnerable of victims - little boys, some of them unhappy even being in boarding school, most frightened at being away from home for the first time, roused from sleep to be indecently assaulted by the very person charged with protecting them.
It was a trial based on memories a quarter-century old. And as such, it left the crown to build a case against Douglas Ian Brown from flashbacks and images, from sordid snippets of recall, to build a case on the word of men who, in some cases, had gone on to live tragic and crime-ridden lives.
It left Stunt, as a result, to defend his client, now 55, against allegations without date, allegations that continued to expand and multiply even to within days of the trial as memories stirred, against allegations from a habitual liar and without records that could no longer be found and the testimony of key players who have since died.
And if, as Stunt maintained yesterday, the whole story of Doug Brown's nocturnal prowling around the cubicles of his slumbering young boarders was based on a series of mistakes, untruths and misinterpretations, well, the allegations will have made a victim of the accused in a way so hellish it is difficult to overstate and almost impossible to reverse.
In his closing argument, however, Crown Attorney Warren Thompson suggested there is little risk of that.
"Seven people have come forward who didn't bear the man any enmity at all," Thompson told Mr. Justice Harry LaForme. And their allegations, he argued, contain the telling detail of truth.
The feel of a moustache on their skin. The smell of beer on a man's breath. The motion of his fondlings. The way little boys went rigid or curled into the fetal position at his touch. The confusion and upset left behind.
There was the ring of truth in how the assaults were anchored in time the way a little boy would, related to Christmas or a birthday or a trip to the infirmary, he said.
There was the echo of hurt and shame in how one man, when pushed to give details 25 years on, snapped: "Yeah, I had a f------ erection. What do you want me to say?"
Thompson said that though some witnesses are involved in a civil suit against Brown and the school, most liked their former teacher even after the assaults and one, who is president of a computer firm and is not involved in the civil action, had "everything to lose by coming forward and absolutely nothing to gain."
Brown was a teacher at UCC from 1975 to 1993. He pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency as a result of incidents that allegedly occurred between 1975 and 1984 at the prep school.
One after another over two weeks, seven former students testified that Brown came on one or more occasions to their cubicles after lights were out or molested them in his room. Some said he pulled down their pyjama bottoms and fondled their genitals. Two said he performed oral sex on them. Several said they smelled alcohol on his breath.
Thompson said controversy arose around Brown within weeks of his hiring, and that his actions in response to complaints first in 1975, then again in 1993, did not resemble those of an innocent man.
In 1975, when a boy complained of being bothered by Brown and had his father visit the former principal of UCC (both of those men now dead), Brown made little effort to clear his name or muster support to his side, Thompson said.
Then, in 1993, after complaints were again made against him, Brown walked away from a $67,000-a-year job without a fight or much effort to demonstrate his innocence, he said.
Then, Brown spent most of the seven years before his arrest in 2001 out of the country, never trying to refute the allegations still floating around, allegations surely lethal to any future teaching career, Thompson said. Reasonable people "would think that would be something he would want to clear up."
For his part, Stunt said that though some of the witnesses had led sad lives, "we are talking about a court of criminal justice where the stakes are high and the level of proof must be very high."
One witness is a drug addict with more than 80 criminal convictions and can hardly be considered reliable, he said. Another willingly accompanied Brown on a canoe trip after he said the indecent assault on him occurred.
Granted, Stunt told LaForme, his client's manner of testifying might have been "quirky, eccentric. ... But I'm asking you to conclude that it is credible."
Among Brown's eccentricities were an apartment at the school full of souvenirs from his travels - a whalebone, an airplane propeller, snowshoes - that must have fascinated young boys; and a manner - alluding to Monty Python, sneering at Ronald Reagan, expounding on the nature of China and properties of beads of mercury - that seemed pedantic in a courtroom but may well have entranced young minds.
In fact, broadcaster and former UCC student Avi Lewis told author James Fitzgerald for his 1994 book Old Boys: The Powerful Legacy of Upper Canada College that "one of the teachers, Doug Brown, saved my life."
Two of the obviously damaged men who testified at his trial made it sound that Doug Brown helped ruin theirs.
Mr. Justice LaForme will deliver his verdict tomorrow.
Whatever other lessons the indecent assault trial of a former Upper Canada College teacher ends up providing, it has already produced something of a case study in how not to handle problems.
It seemed clear, as Mr. Justice Harry LaForme prepared to hear closing arguments today in Superior Court, that neither the prestigious school nor its former teacher and housemaster Douglas Brown had much to teach anyone about facing up to trouble.
Brown has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency as a result of incidents that allegedly occurred at the school between 1975 and 1984. On Monday, questioned by his own lawyer, Brown said none of the incidents described by seven former UCC students during the trial ever happened.
Yesterday, cross-examined by Crown Attorney Warren Thompson, Brown again professed his innocence and filled in more of the picture a quarter-century ago at one of Canada's elite institutions.
Brown talked at length about the deeply troubled students he said it was his lot to encounter, describing their emotional upheavals, their outbursts of aggression, the parents who seemed to have more money than time for their kids, and his own efforts to help his students.
"I think I spent a lot of time with (one boy) trying to help him through those times," he said of a man who would later testify against him. "I listened to his anger against his mother and his sister."
He described his own rather unorthodox habits - including the small dormitory apartment where Brown kept an open-door policy for students, as well as a huge whalebone from Newfoundland, stones from the Arctic, paddles, snowshoes, a 2-metre airplane propeller.
Not to mention a little fridge in which Brown's beer was kept cold - and from which he later discovered it was apparently pilfered by students - and stacks of magazines, where amongst the Economists and National Geographics, he admitted, copies of Playboy could occasionally be found.
In 1975, Brown was 26 and barely on the job at UCC in his first solid teaching position when trouble found him.
A former student - one of the seven who 29 years later would testify against him - said that on his first night at the boarding school, after earlier being comforted by Brown about his being upset at being away from home, he awoke to find the teacher fondling him and later performing oral sex on him.
Within a couple of days, the boy and his father showed up at UCC to talk to then-school principal Dick Howard. Brown said yesterday that no allegation of molestation was made, only that the boy complained about having been "bothered" by something Brown did.
Though the adults wracked their brains, he said, they really couldn't figure out what the fuss was about. "We all stood there and tried to figure out what he meant," he said. "We all made efforts to find out what he meant by bothered."
The best he could figure, Brown testified, was that the boy - who he said was even then deeply troubled and who Brown suspects might suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome - was miffed that he had told him to stop sleeping in his clothes and change into his pyjamas.
Then, all the heads seemed to go back into the sand. Brown said the principal advised him merely to refer any further issues with the boy to other teachers and not to discuss the matter with other staff members.
So Brown didn't. "I took the advice, I took the direction." And so began a pattern of what seemed, by his own account yesterday, a strikingly passive response to potentially career-destroying developments.
When a former student came to UCC in the early 1990s with more allegations and a demand "for virtually my head," Brown, even though he insisted the alleged incidents "did not happen," said he didn't contact any other teachers to rally them to his defence or to attest to his innocence.
Instead, he decided to do both the boy and the school a favour and resign from his $67,000-a-year job, he told the court.
"I helped (the complainant) out. I helped the school out, yes."
You decided to "take one for the Gipper?" asked a startled Thompson.
He wouldn't use that vernacular, Brown retorted, because it would "remind me of Ronald Reagan."
Brown said he'd been thinking about resigning anyway. He'd taught 18 years without missing a day. "I think it was pretty well known among my friends" that he was considering leaving, Brown said.
When he left, he received a letter of reference from the school. A notice was also posted internally saying he had served UCC with distinction - notwithstanding the old complaints about unspecified bother and the new demand for his head with which he had quietly complied - and that he would be missed by students and faculty.
Brown took consulting and teaching contracts in the Bahamas, the Maldives Islands and China, he said, but never worked again with young children. It was time to build a portfolio for curriculum design and development, he decided, and to teach older students.
"There are other places in the world to go," he said.
And teaching kids is "a young man's game."
Though, as both he and the school would come to learn, averting one's gaze from problems does not make them disappear.
To those hiring teachers at Upper Canada College for the 1975 school year, Douglas Brown must have seemed a good catch.
With a BA in English and a master's degree in Canadian literature and history, he was obviously cerebral. As a canoeist and wilderness guide, he was physically rigorous. Coming up on his 27th birthday, he was young and, by all accounts, hip - a bridge, perhaps, across a generation gap at the time grown rather wide.
But if any new job takes a bit of getting used to, it could be that teaching at one of the country's tonier prep schools takes more getting used to than most.
In addition to teaching, Brown was a housemaster who boarded at the school. He was responsible for waking student boarders, for taking roll call, for shepherding them to breakfast, for ensuring they ate, for getting them to class on time, then, when classes were done, for getting them to dinner.
One night a week, he was responsible for overseeing bedtime and curfew and lights out. Frankly, it seems to have been as much nanny-work as teaching.
Not only that, the little charmers being groomed as future Canadian leaders were given to bullying and hazing rituals that left the new teacher "a little taken aback," Brown told a Superior Court judge yesterday.
When not mounting nocturnal raids on the kitchen, the older boys from the second floor were fond of raiding the younger ones on the third, he said. One of the tactics of choice was to "eight-ball people" - a billiard ball inserted in a sock and swung to wallop foes.
But even students somewhat the worse for wear after these festivities tended not to complain about it, Brown said. Telling, evidently, wasn't the done thing.
The key to keeping mayhem to a minimum, Brown said, was vigilance and monitoring, "to let them know that you were there."
It is precisely that - the startlingly contradictory accounts of where Brown was and what he was doing during those years - with which Mr. Justice Harry LaForme must wrestle.
Brown, a teacher at UCC until 1993, has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency. For the last two weeks, seven former UCC students have taken the stand and testified that, back when they were 11 or 12 or 13 years old, before they'd hit puberty and before most had a clue what was happening, Brown came prowling their cubicles after lights were out.
Some said he pulled their pyjamas down and fondled them. Two said he performed oral sex on them. A few said he smelled of alcohol during the assaults.
Yesterday, Brown took the stand. As defence lawyer Paul Stunt reviewed one set of allegations after another, he concluded with a question.
"Did it ever happen?" Stunt asked after reviewing the allegations of the first man to testify.
"No, sir," Brown replied.
"That ever happen?" he asked after reviewing the account of Witness 2.
And on it went, through the stories of seven men.
That happen? Stunt asked, after describing an alleged fondling and stroking one night after lights out.
Ever summon a student to your room?
Ever give them alcohol?
When the allegations were of his having forced oral sex on the boys, Brown was most vehement of all.
Brown said he never entered any boarder's cubicle except in the performance of his duties. He denied any sexual impropriety at all. Of the worst of the allegations, Brown said they came from a troubled boy who he thought showed all the signs of having fetal alcohol syndrome.
He did, however, admit to actions that were even then probably less than advisable for a teacher of young boys.
In 1980, Brown took one former student on a camping trip to Northern Ontario, he said. "I thought it was very friendly." Once, he had a student too drunk to drive sleep it off for a while in his room. "I think we had a chat and that was about it."
And there was the time when, sitting in ambush for some students engaged in a noisy "rumble," Brown entered a boy's cubicle after lights out and sat on the end of his bed.
When the boy awoke, he said "Get away!" Brown told the court.
"What did you do?" his lawyer asked.
In 1993, Brown was visited at his apartment by UCC's headmaster at the time and the father of a boy who first complained about alleged sexual improprieties. Later that year, Brown resigned, receiving a letter of reference from the school.
Then he began bouncing around. In 1994, he had a contract to develop curriculum in the Bahamas. He did a tour in the Maldives Islands. There were some teaching contracts in China. Between times, back in Canada, there was his research on Louis Riel.
In 1997, Brown received a telephone call from police asking about his UCC years. In August 2001, he was arrested. Since then, his life has been affected "to an unimaginable extent," he said yesterday.
He has not worked. He lives with his 84-year-old mother. He checks into a police station once a week. He is, he said, "just trying to live day to day."
The trial resumes today.
Former Upper Canada College teacher Douglas Brown has flatly denied all the allegations of seven students who testified he molested them at the college between 1975 and 1984.
Brown took the witness box yesterday in his own defence on 11 counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency at his Superior Court trial.
He denied each allegation - including accusations that he gave some of the students beer, alcohol and hashish - as they were systematically put to him by defence lawyer Paul Stunt in front of Judge Harry LaForme.
Most commonly Brown would reply "never," "never, ever, "No, sir," "I have no recollection of that," or "absolutely not" as specific allegations were put to him. Former students have said he masturbated them, fondled their genitals and, in some cases, performed oral sex on them.
He testified that all of his contacts with the seven complainants - most of whom were around 10 to 12 years old at the time - were consistent with his duties as housemaster, which included patrolling the dormitories after lights out.
Stunt singled out the evidence given by a former student who testified that he complained to Dick Howard, then school principal, that Brown had sexually assaulted him two days earlier. The witness said the incident happened in the fall of 1975, on his first night boarding at the Toronto private school.
The former student, now 41, is a self-described cocaine addict with a lengthy criminal record. He had testified that he awoke to find Brown sitting on his bed and masturbating him. He said Brown also performed oral sex on him.
But Brown denied every having been summoned to Howard's office for a meeting, which was attended by the boy and his father as the former student had testified.
He also denied that Howard had ever confronted him with allegations of sexual impropriety.
Brown said the only time he had spoken directly to the father was about two or three weeks after the start of term, when Howard and the father showed up at the door of his apartment at the school, for a brief discussion in the hallway.
He said the boy's father appeared "quite calm."
Both Howard and the father are dead. Brown remained at the school until 1993, when, according to his testimony, he left UCC with a letter of reference.
The student had testified that Brown initially sat quietly on his bed before leaving the dormitory, then returning and inflicting the alleged sexual assaults.
Brown acknowledged sitting on the student's bed one evening but said he had positioned himself to monitor the movement of some of the other boarders participating in "a rumble" on another floor.
He explained that housemasters occasionally had to deal with raids in which some students indulged in "out-and-out violence" in the dorms.
The raids occasionally involved a practice known as eight-balling, in which smaller students on another floor are "whopped" with an eight-ball wrapped in a sock.
Brown said he was pretty sure the smaller kids were injured, but they didn't complain because, "they had a stiff upper lip."
Brown described this particular complainant as "a troubled boy."
He said he was "out of place," acted violently toward other students, didn't want to board at the school because his parents lived in Toronto, and "couldn't cope very well with life" at the UCC.
"After I watched his behaviour (I) became concerned that there was something deeply troubling this boy," Brown said. He noted that around that time, "there had been lots of discussion about fetal alcohol syndrome," and that the student appeared to have some of the symptoms.
Court has heard that UCC entered into a settlement with this former student in 1993.
Brown, who pleaded not guilty to all of the counts, stressed that he has never admitted any "liability or culpability" in relation to the allegations made by the students.
He said he has been unable to work since he was arrested and placed on rigid bail reporting conditions after his arrest in August 2001.
"This has affected me to an unimaginable extent," Brown told LaForme.
"No one can possibly perceive the effect that this has had (on me)."
The trial took an unexpected turn after Brown completed his testimony.
Stunt complained to the judge that prosecutor Warren Thompson had just presented him with new disclosure of information relating to "an ongoing investigation" of Brown.
There was no indication that the new disclosure related to allegations that were not before the court.
LaForme delayed Thompson's cross-examination of Brown until this morning to give Stunt an opportunity to consider his options in light of the last-minute disclosure.
A former Upper Canada College student insisted yesterday he had complained to the principal in 1975 that a teacher had sexually assaulted him on his first night boarding at the Toronto private school.
The student had testified that he awoke to find Douglas Brown sitting on his bed and masturbating him, and that Brown then performed oral sex on him.
Brown was a housemaster and English teacher at UCC between 1975 and 1993. He is on trial on 11 counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency in connection with allegations stemming from the mid-'70s to 1984.
Brown's lawyer, Paul Stunt, cross-examined the former student yesterday about a meeting held in principal Dick Howard's office, at which the boy's father was present. Stunt asked the former student to agree that during the meeting, held two days after the incident, he had not mentioned any oral sex.
"I don't remember," the former student, now 41, replied.
"I don't know why I wouldn't have."
When it was suggested that he had used the word "bothered" at the meeting, as opposed to specific references to sexual misconduct, the student replied that at age 12 he would not have known how else to describe sexual abuse.
Asked if he would agree that, contrary to his testimony, Brown did not enter Howard's office while the student and his father sat in the waiting room, the man replied, "You will have a hard time convincing me that it didn't happen."
No other witnesses are available to testify about what was said at the meeting because both the principal and the student's father have died.
The former student rejected Stunt's charge that sometime after 1993, he had showed up at 3 a.m. at then acting headmaster Douglas Blakey's residence at the school and "demanded" money.
The former student, an admitted cocaine addict, had testified he went to Blakey's home around 3 a.m. on two occasions while "intoxicated" on drugs to ask for money.
He said Blakey went to a money machine for him on one occasion and gave him money on the other.
Yesterday, he told Mr. Justice Harry LaForme of the Superior Court who is trying the case without a jury, that rather than agreeing to the word "demand," in connection with his early-morning visit to Blakey's residence, "I would say 'asked.'"
Stunt spent much of his cross-examination attempting to discredit the former student by taking him through a criminal record that dates back to 1981, when he was 18 years old.
"You've got more court time than Michael Jordan," Stunt charged.
Seven former students have finished testifying for the prosecution. Brown may be asked as early as this morning whether he intends to call a defence.
A former Upper Canada College student says he complained to the private school's principal in 1975 that a teacher had sexually assaulted him, but the principal took no action.
And, two days after the alleged assault, his father cautioned him to be careful about what he said about people, the student told the trial of former teacher Douglas Brown yesterday.
Brown, a housemaster and English teacher at UCC between 1975 and 1993, is on trial on 11 counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency.
The allegations, made by seven former students, span the mid-1970s to 1984.
The student, now 41, is an admitted cocaine addict with a lengthy criminal record who supports himself through a disability pension and "petty crime."
He testified yesterday that, in the fall of 1975, during the evening of the first day of school, Brown escorted him back to his dormitory after he became homesick and began weeping during a sing-a-long with other boarders.
The witness told Mr. Justice Harry LaForme that after he got into bed, Brown calmed him down, and then left.
But he later woke up to find his pyjamas lowered, his genitals exposed, and Brown, sitting on his bed masturbating him and later performing oral sex on him.
"It was all new to me and I didn't really have a grasp on what was going on," the witness said.
He said he felt an "overwhelming" desire to urinate during the incident.
But when he walked toward the washroom after Brown left, he saw Brown standing in a doorway, with his arm blocking the way.
Brown asked him what he was doing.
"I thought quickly that I shouldn't say anything about what happened ... so I said I had a bad dream," he testified. The next morning, he said, he asked to be admitted to the school infirmary because he was "freaked out."
There, he managed to phone his father, told him about the incident and asked him to come right over.
The student said he described what happened at a meeting arranged for his father with then Headmaster Dick Howard.
After the student was sent back into the waiting room, he saw Brown go into Howard's office.
Some time later, his father went back into Howard's office, came out to the car where the student had been told to wait and told him something that would have a powerful impact on his life.
"He said, 'Son, you need to be careful about what you say about people.'
"The response was not what I was looking for. I was devastated. I was alone. I didn't know what to do, who to turn to," he told LaForme. "I was actually petrified that it would happen again."
However, the student said there were no other incidents and Brown never became his teacher at UCC.
"The problem was the looks I would get in the hallway," he said.
Court heard that the former student reached a settlement with the college - but not with Brown - in 1993.
A former Upper Canada College student has described two incidents in which he said a former UCC housemaster and teacher molested him in his dormitory cubicle.
The witness, who cannot be identified, testified yesterday that the first time Douglas Brown came into his cubicle, sometime in 1975, Brown just sat there quietly before leaving.
But the second time, a few months later, the witness said he woke to find Brown sitting much closer to him and reaching under the covers to fondle his penis and masturbate him.
The witness said Brown did that on another occasion as well.
That time, " I remember telling him to 'go away' in a loud whisper and I think that he did."
Brown is on trial on 11 charges of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency that allegedly occurred on UCC students in the 1970s and 1980s. He has pleaded not guilty.
The witness, now about 42, said that some time after these incidents, in the period between getting undressed and lights out, he went to Brown's apartment at the school, which was just down the hall.
"What I remember is that I was in my dressing gown," the witness testified. "He said he wanted to examine me.
"He put his hands in my pyjamas and he examined my genitals."
The witness, who said he could not remember why he had gone to Brown's apartment on that occasion, said he told another student that something had happened between him and Brown, "and we (the witness and the other student) had an agreement to not be in Mr. Brown's apartment on our own."
In cross-examination, Brown's lawyer, Paul Stunt, pressed the witness about why his recollection of the incidents only began in 1992, after having lunch with another former student who made allegations against Brown.
Stunt also questioned why other boarders in the dormitory would not have heard his protest on the third occasion.The student was the fifth of seven students expected to testify against Brown.
Also yesterday, a witness testified that Brown gave him hashish and liquor, and said that despite an incident in 1980 where Brown "grabbed" his penis, a year later he spent two or three days alone with Brown on a canoe trip in Northern Ontario.
This witness explained that Brown's respect for his students and mentorship had "struck a chord with me."
Also yesterday, Superior Court Judge Harry LaForme told prosecutor Warren Thompson that he found the crown's questions as to whether the victims had erections during the alleged assaults to be irrelevant.
He's coming up on 37 now. His eyes are nestled in darkened pouches and he looks a total stranger to a good night's sleep. He takes three different medications for anxiety, depression and mood swings. He's been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He hasn't worked in a dozen years. He uses marijuana almost every day.
He remembers things.
He remembers the puppy he got for his birthday in December, 1979. He seems to recall that his family went to Collingwood to ski that Christmas.
And he remembers, he says, the night a few weeks after school resumed in January and the feel of the moustache on his skin when the boarding-school teacher came again to his room after lights-out and performed oral sex on him.
He was 12 then.
Even yesterday, a quarter century on, he didn't want to talk details, cursing in Ontario's Superior Court of Justice when pushed to relive the long-ago.
Did he have an erection? a lawyer asked. Did he ejaculate? How far were his pyjamas pulled down?
But talk the man did - if at times too quickly for the court reporter, at times too quickly for Mr. Justice Harry LaForme, talking as if he couldn't get it over with fast enough.
The man was the fourth of seven former Upper Canada College students expected to testify at the trial of Douglas Brown, a former housemaster and English teacher who has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency.
There is a publication ban on identification of the witnesses. Let's call yesterday's Boy 4.
He had attended Toronto French School until Grade 5. His parents wanted to move him to UCC. It was a "jump up in the private-school hierarchy," he said. But only a boarder's space was available. They lived in Toronto, but took it to get their son in the door for Grade 6.
So during the week, though his home was at Royal York and Bloor, Boy 4 stayed at the school, sleeping in a windowless, third-floor dormitory cubicle - "they were a little like cells" - with a bed, a chair, a desk, a small closet and the night-time horsing around of his classmates.
He didn't like being a boarder. He would have preferred to stay at home. He wasn't a mama's boy. "I just didn't want to go to school and sleep over."
There were housemasters in the dorm, teachers who "kept an eye on the kids," he said.
One of these was Mr. Brown, who Boy 4 said yesterday was a fine teacher and "cool guy," a man he felt a boy could go to with a problem.
In Grade 6, Boy 4 didn't have Brown as a teacher, though "he was around a fair bit" as housemaster. In Grade 7, he did.
Near the end of September, maybe the beginning of October that year, sometime between 10 and 11 p.m., after lights were out, Brown pulled back the curtain and came into his room.
It "wasn't pitch black in there," Boy 4 said.
He could see the teacher's glasses and his moustache. He said the teacher sat on the bed, pulled back the covers and began rubbing first the boy's belly, then his genitals, through his pyjamas.
He could smell beer on the man's breath.
Then the man "pulled down my bottoms," and began fondling "skin to skin." This lasted five, maybe 10 minutes. The teacher never spoke, Boy 4 said. And "I didn't say anything to him at all ... I didn't know what was going on."
He didn't have much sexual knowledge, he said. He hadn't yet hit puberty. All he knew about adults coming into his bedroom was when his mum would say goodnight and "kiss me on the forehead."
He tried to go to sleep. "I didn't know what else to do." He told no one. "I was just hoping that would be the last time and everything would be over with."
"Was it the last time?" asked Crown Attorney Warren Thompson.
"No, it wasn't," Boy 4 said. "It was the first."
In November or early December, "the same thing happened."
In the new year, there was another visit, he said. This time, after the fondling, "he put his mouth to my genitals ... (and) sucked on it.
"I remember the feel of his moustache. It felt like a long time."
He was too ashamed to tell anyone, he said. "It really confused the hell out of me."
Afterwards, Boy 4 said he wasn't able to sleep until very late at night. "I didn't know when he was going to come in." He persuaded his parents to drop him back at school Monday mornings instead of Sunday evenings, so he would have to spend one fewer night a week there. When the boarding program was scrapped in '81, he was happy. He became a "day boy."
But by then, it seems, boyhood was pretty much gone.
He continued at Upper Canada College until 1983, when he was kicked out for forging tickets to a school dance at Branksome Hall. When that happened, he went to Doug Brown to ask for advice, he admitted under cross-examination by defence attorney Paul Stunt.
"I thought he was a cool teacher and a cool guy I could talk to."
The next year, Boy 4 returned to Toronto French School.
A few years ago - back from Vancouver, where last he held down a job, and long unable to work due to anxiety and panic attacks - he went to the police and the media.
"I came to a point in my life where I felt if I was going to get over any of this stuff I'd have to press charges."
He said he didn't know, until he spoke up, that there were others who claim to have been molested by Brown. When he came forward, they did, too.
Boy 4 was easily able yesterday to describe the dormitories at Upper Canada College.
He said he doesn't remember the English mark Doug Brown gave him.
Former Upper Canada College teacher Douglas Brown groped a student as he lay in his dormitory bed after the lights were out, a court was told yesterday.
"The experience left me feeling tremendously alone," said the 42-year-old man, who was 13, away from home for the first time and in Grade 8 at the prestigious prep school.
"I was frightened, very frightened," said the man, whose identity is shielded by a publication ban. "That's when I knew I was really and truly alone," he testified, adding that he never told his parents about the incident - although he recalls telling dorm-mates "something along the lines that something really strange happened."
The man was the first to testify at Brown's trial before Mr. Justice Harry LaForme, without a jury, at the University Ave. courthouse.
A housemaster and English teacher at the midtown Toronto school from 1975 to 1993, Brown has pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency and one count of unlawful confinement. The allegations span the mid-1970s to 1984.
Brown "had been drinking. I could smell the alcohol on his breath," the man testified.
"He moved from my thighs to my buttocks and then to my genitals," said the witness, who recalled being dressed in pyjamas at the time. "I knew it was him. He was almost on top of me," said the man, who spent six years at the school.
"To be blunt, Mr. Brown came into my cubicle and molested me," said the man, who became involved in a civil suit against Upper Canada College in 2001.
Dressed in jeans and a navy blazer, the balding and bespectacled Brown, who is out of jail on strict bail conditions, sat next to his lawyer, Paul Stunt.
A second witness, now 39, testified he was only 10 when Brown, dressed in running shoes and jeans, came into his cubicle one night after the fall semester had begun and started "petting" him from the back of his head to the small of his back.
Like the first witness, the second man - who is also involved in the lawsuit against UCC - recalled being "very, very, very scared." The man said Brown stroked him about 30 times while he pretended to be asleep.
The judge ruled yesterday that four of the charges involving one victim would be severed from the case and heard at a later date because there were more differences than similarities with the other cases.
The trial continues today.
A former teacher at Upper Canada College accused of illegal sex acts against students at the prestigious private school will have to stand trial on the charges, a judge ruled today.
Lawyer Paul Stunt had asked Ontario Superior Court Justice Harry LaForme for a stay of the charges against former teacher Douglas Brown on the grounds that it has taken too long for the case to come to trial.
But LaForme disagreed, saying there's a strong public interest in seeing Brown tried on what he described as "serious historical assault allegations."
"The offences are very serious, (but) so is society's demand that Mr. Brown be tried," LaForme told the courtroom as he delivered his decision.
"In weighing all the circumstances . . .the time to bring this matter to trial is not unreasonable."
Brown, who was fired from Upper Canada College in 1993, faces 13 counts of indecent assault, two of gross indecency and one of unlawful confinement involving nine former students.
In earlier arguments, Stunt had noted his client had been arrested in August 2001 but his trial only started this week.
He argued that the three-year delay constituted a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees an accused's right to be tried within a reasonable time frame.
Crown lawyer Warren Thompson opposed the stay, arguing the delays were reasonable in light of the complexities of the case and the number of complainants, some of whom only came forward after the original charges were laid.
On Wednesday, the balding, bookish-looking Brown, who is in his mid-50s, pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Brown taught at the exclusive boy's school, located in the tony Toronto neighbourhood of Forest Hill, from 1973 until 1993. He is currently out on bail, subject to stringent conditions.
The charges related to incidents that were alleged to have occurred from September 1975 to June 1984 when the complainants were about 12 or 13 years old.
Brown, who lives in Hamilton, has previously filed an affidavit with the court explaining how he had been adversely affected by the delays in getting to trial.
A judge plans to rule tomorrow on whether sex charges against a former teacher at Upper Canada College should be stayed because of the time it took for the case to come to trial.
A lawyer for Douglas Brown, who taught at the exclusive Toronto private school for 20 years until he was fired in 1993, has already argued in court that the three-year delay was unreasonable and unfair.
Brown was arrested in August of 2001 and released on stringent bail conditions.
Lawyer Paul Stunt has argued before Superior Court Justice Harry LaForme that the delay was a violation of his client's constitutional rights, an argument that was refuted by the Crown.
Details of their submissions cannot be reported because of a court-ordered publication ban.
Dressed in his trademark blue blazer and jeans, the balding, bookish-looking Brown, who is in his mid-50s, pleaded not guilty today to 13 counts of indecent assault, two of gross indecency, and one of unlawful confinement.
The charges all relate to complaints made by nine former students of the prestigious private boys school located in the tony Forest Hill area of Toronto.
The alleged incidents are said to have occurred from September 1975 to June 1984 when the complainants were about 12 or 13 years old.
The lawyer for a former private-school teacher charged with a string of sex offences against students asked a judge today to stay the charges because the case has taken too long to come to trial.
However, details of the submission by Paul Stunt, who represents former Upper Canada College teacher Douglas Brown, cannot be reported as they are subject to a court-ordered publication ban.
Before making his Charter of Rights application, Stunt asked for a ban on the publication of related evidence. The Crown did not oppose Stunt's request and Superior Court Justice Harry LaForme allowed it.
Stunt later explained he was simply playing it safe in terms of ensuring the fairness of his client's trial should the application for a stay be denied.
Earlier in the proceedings, the balding, bookish-looking Brown, who is in his mid-50s, stood and pleaded not guilty to each of the 16 counts of three different charges as they were read aloud in court.
Brown has already requested a trial by jury, although Stunt hinted in court Wednesday that his client might change his mind and opt instead for a trial by judge alone.
Based on allegations from nine complainants, Brown is accused of 13 counts of indecent assault on students at UCC, an exclusive boys' school renowned for its list of graduate luminaries.
He also faces two counts of gross indecency and one of unlawful confinement.
The charges relate to incidents that are alleged to have occurred from September 1975 to June 1984 when the complainants were about 12 or 13 years old.
Brown taught at the school, located in the tony Toronto neighbourhood of Forest Hill, from 1973 until he was fired in 1993.
He was arrested in August of 2001 and released on stringent bail conditions.
The premise of Stunt's application for a stay is based on the fact it has taken three years for the case to come to trial, a period of time the lawyer has characterized as "simply unreasonable."
Brown, who lives in Hamilton, has previously filed an affidavit with the court explaining how he's been affected by the delays in getting to trial. Details of the affidavit are also subject to the ban.
The Crown has said it plans to oppose Brown's request for a stay.
Stunt has also said would seek to have certain counts related to one complainant severed from the others on the basis that they are "far different."