Brother of complainant testifies Cairns acted inappropriately
The brother of a man who claims well-known businessman Jeffery Cairns sexually assaulted him multiple times when he was a teenager testified their “family friend” also acted inappropriately with him.
The Niagara man, now 25, testified Thursday he recalls five incidents during which Cairns cupped or grabbed his genitals.
The incidents, he said, occurred when he was in Grade 8 through Grade 11 but he has no recollection of specific dates.
“I would laugh or make a loud noise and shoot my hips back and away from him,” he told assistant Crown attorney Robert Mahler in Superior Court of Justice in St. Catharines.
Cairns, 60, has pleaded not guilty to a number of charges including sexual assault and sexual interference.
Court heard the older brother went to Niagara Regional Police in September 2016, a month after his sibling told authorities he had been sexually abused by Cairns.
“You and your brother are exceptionally close, yes?” defence lawyer Jonathan Shime asked the witness.
“Yes,” he replied.
“You are very loyal to your brother, aren’t you?”
“I love my brother.”
The witness denied a suggestion by Shime that he fabricated stories about being grabbed by Cairns in order to benefit his younger brother.
“I wanted to provide additional details on how Jeff interacted with young men,” the witness replied.
“I would not lie in court for my brother.”
The complainant, now 23, testified earlier that he was 14 years old when the sexual abuse began.
He told the jury Cairns would perform oral sex on him, and also had the teen perform oral sex on him, a man he described as his “second father.”
The incidents are said to have occurred in St. Catharines and elsewhere between March 2010 and March 2011.
The Cairns family is prominent in St. Catharines and known for their philanthropic endeavours.
They have made significant contributions to Niagara organizations over the years. Cairns’ father, Roy, who died in 2011, donated $6 million to Brock University. Jeffery Cairns was a member of Brock University’s board of trustees. He resigned from the board in August 2016, the day after his arrest.
The family made a $500,000 donation in 2014 to FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines and the recital hall at the venue is named Cairns Recital Hall.
The complainant’s older brother testified Thursday he was aware the Cairns family is very wealthy but that he had no idea what the defendant’s net worth was.
The trial continues Monday before Judge Paul Sweeny.