A Canadian Supreme Court justice has been placed on paid leave following an alleged drunken altercation at an Arizona resort. According to a police report filed in January, US Marine Corps veteran Jonathan Crump claimed that Justice Russell Brown engaged in “unwanted touching” of a female guest at the resort before he later punched Mr Brown “a few times” during an argument.
Mr. Brown has denied the claims and called the account “demonstrably false.” However, the Canadian Judicial Council is reviewing a complaint into Mr. Brown’s alleged conduct in Arizona, and he has been on leave since February 1 while the judicial oversight body looks into the matter.
There are differing accounts of the incident, which took place while Mr. Brown was attending a gala celebrating a former colleague at the luxury Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Mr. Crump claimed that the judge was harassing his female friend after they met Mr. Brown in the resort bar late on January 28. He said he punched Mr. Brown twice in the face after the judge shoved him and followed the group back to their room.
Mr. Brown confirmed parts of Mr. Crump’s account but denied the allegations of unwanted touching. He said he joined the group at the table but “did not speak or otherwise engage with him.” He claimed that Mr. Crump objected to him rejoining the group outside the lounge and suddenly punched him several times in the head, leaving him unable to defend himself.
Following the publication of Mr. Crump’s account in the media, Mr. Brown released a statement calling the claims “false” and “a serious violation of my rights and reputation.” He has not made any further public statements since the incident.
Mr. Brown’s alleged conduct has sparked controversy and raised questions about the accountability of Canadian judges. The Canadian Judicial Council has stated that it takes all complaints of judicial misconduct seriously and will ensure a fair and impartial review of the matter.
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