Brown ac­cuser wasn’t un­der­age

CTV ac­knowl­edges key de­tail false as for­mer PC leader vows to clear his name

Kingston Whig-Standard - - NATIONAL - ANTONELLA ARTUSO and JAMES WAL­LACE

Key as­pects of a CTV News story that made damn­ing sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions against for­mer On­tario PC leader Pa­trick Brown ap­pear to be un­rav­el­ing.

Brown re­signed as party leader in late Jan­u­ary af­ter the news broad­caster pub­lished claims that Brown tried to pres­sure two young women, one a high school stu­dent and the other an in­tern in his of­fice, into un­wanted sex.

CTV ac­knowl­edged Tues­day night a piv­otal ac­cu­sa­tion — that Brown plied an un­der­age high school girl with booze — is not true. The ac­cuser was nei­ther in high school nor un­der­age, she now ad­mits.

Post­media has in­ter­viewed peo­ple con­nected to Brown and the two women mak­ing al­le­ga­tions against Brown, and dis­pute key claims made against him.

CTV said in a Tues­day story that “The first ac­cuser main­tains the in­ci­dent hap­pened dur­ing a visit to Brown’s home with a mu­tual friend,” adding “That friend told CTV News he has no rec­ol­lec­tion of the night.”

How­ever, when con­tacted by Post­media the friend in­sisted he wasn’t with her that night or with her ever at Brown’s home.

“I have known (her) since I was 16,” said the friend, who didn’t want to be iden­ti­fied be­cause of the vir­u­lent con­tro­versy sur­round­ing the story.

“I was ac­tu­ally very good friends with her,” he said. “We met through church at a youth group there.”

The friend said he was con­tacted by CTV Tues­day af­ter­noon, and was told the woman claimed she had been “par­ty­ing ” with him and an­other friend on the night Brown pressed her for sex, an al­le­ga­tion he adamantly de­nied.

“I don’t know if he sug­gested I had been drink­ing, but I would dis­pute any al­le­ga­tion I was drink­ing at the time,” the friend told Post­media. “Quite sim­ply I didn’t start drink­ing un­til a lit­tle bit later in life.”

The friend, who Brown de­scribes as an “ac­quain­tance,” said it’s true he told CTV he had “no rec­ol­lec­tion” but also made it clear that if the events the ac­cuser de­scribed hap­pened, he was never there and had no knowl­edge of them.

Nor has he ever seen Brown or the young woman to­gether.

“I have no rec­ol­lec­tion of her in­ter­act­ing with Pa­trick at a bar or else­where,” he said.

Brown’s sec­ond ac­cuser, who worked as a sum­mer stu­dent in his of­fice in 2013, said he fed her drinks fol­low­ing a Bar­rie hockey fundraiser, kissed her with­out her per­mis­sion and tried to pres­sure her into sex in his bed­room dur­ing a party, which she de­scribed to CTV as a “sex­ual as­sault.”

“The next thing I know he’s kiss­ing me,” she told CTV. “He con­tin­ued to kiss me and he laid me down on the bed and got on top of me,” she said.

“I could feel his erec­tion on my legs when he was on top of me so I felt that it would have gone to sex­ual in­ter­course if I had not done any­thing,” she said. “I would char­ac­ter­ize that as a sex­ual as­sault.”

A woman who knows the sec­ond ac­cuser told Post­media that she ad­mit­ted at the time that the “en­counter with Pa­trick (had been) just a kiss, noth­ing more.”

But the day af­ter that al­leged as­sault, the staffer con­fided to her friend “there was just a kiss, noth­ing more.”

“She did not in­ti­mate to me that it was in­ap­pro­pri­ate or un­wanted in na­ture at all and she also ex­pressed re­grets that she had been un­faith­ful to her boyfriend at that time.”

“I asked her if it was go­ing to be awk­ward with Pa­trick Brown and she said no.”

Brown has main­tained the for­mer staffer, who has ad­mit­ted she was drunk at the time, in fact kissed him.

Other sources at Brown’s home that night, who had gath­ered there fol­low­ing a char­ity hockey game in Bar­rie pre­vi­ously told Post­media that the young woman had been fol­low­ing him around at the party.

Mikaela Pat­ter­son, who was dat­ing Brown at the time, was in the next room in fact.

Pat­ter­son said she and a girl­friend no­ticed the young woman fol­low­ing Brown around at the party.

“We went back to his house and the girl was kind of fol­low­ing him around which an­noyed me,” she said. “And then Pa­trick ended up driv­ing her home... and he spent the rest of the evening with me and Katie, my girl­friend.”

The for­mer staffer also told CTV that she re­ceived a raise fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, which is sug­ges­tive of a pay­off.

How­ever, sources with knowl­edge of Brown’s Bar­rie op­er­a­tion said in fact it was the for­mer staffer who came look­ing for a raise, af­ter learn­ing a new crop of in­terns were be­ing paid as much as she was mak­ing, de­spite hav­ing worked in Brown’s of­fice for longer. On that ba­sis, she asked for, and was given a raise.

Brown, in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Post­media on Fri­day, called the al­le­ga­tions against him “ab­so­lute lies” that have dev­as­tated both his ca­reer and per­sonal life. He said the “truth will come out” and that he’s con­tem­plat­ing le­gal ac­tion to de­fend his rep­u­ta­tion.

“CTV News fab­ri­cated a ma­li­cious and false re­port about me from two anony­mous ac­cusers,” Brown said in a Face­book post. “Af­ter a long three weeks, CTV News has now ad­mit­ted that it got it wrong.

CTV has said it stands by its story, call­ing Brown’s public con­cerns about their story as “ground­less and wrong.”

Brown first ac­cuser, through CTV, also said she’s stand­ing by her story. The sec­ond ac­cuser told Post­media she’s do­ing the same.

CRAIG ROBERT­SON/TORONTO SUN

CTV News ac­knowl­edged Tues­day that a piv­otal ac­cu­sa­tion against for­mer On­tario Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive leader Pa­trick Brown, pic­tured, is not true.

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