‘Ottawa’ Former Police Officer Denies Having Girl Give Him Nude Massages and Saying ‘Blue Wall’ would Protect Him
A former Kingston Police officer, charged seven months after his retirement with committing sex crimes against a child when he was in his twenties, testified in his own defence and denied all wrongdoing.
Bruce (Jim) Lindsay, 58, was initially charged by the Special Investigations Unit with nine crimes. He was later committed to trial on seven of those charges following a preliminary hearing, and on Monday pleaded not guilty to all seven in Kingston’s Superior Court of Justice.
However, Crown prosecutor Jason Nicol dropped prosecution on two counts at the close of his case on Tuesday and a third on Wednesday before making his closing argument, opting to proceed on one count each of gross indecency, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and a common assault.
The complainant in the case, now a woman of mature years, is the daughter of a woman with whom Lindsay was once romantically involved.
She testified that she approached police with her accusations after hearing a rumour in 2014 that the soon-to-retire constable, who lost his wife to cancer that year, was dating a woman with a young daughter. She claimed her hope was that someone would speak to the girl’s mother.
I don’t think he liked children. But I was part of the package that came with my mom
Lindsay testified that he’s only recently become engaged to a woman he first dated 25 years ago.
His accuser told Superior Court Justice Graeme Mew that when she was still in elementary school, she witnessed Lindsay in his apartment on more than one occasion watching television dressed in nothing but a robe, left open in front exposing his genitals.
She claimed that there were “pornographic magazines” such as Hustler openly on display in the bathroom and readily accessible pornographic movies. She once walked in on him in the bathroom, she said, and found him sitting on the toilet with one of the magazines, masturbating.
She also told Justice Mew that while she was still a grade-schooler, Lindsay insisted she give him back massages that extended to rubbing his naked buttocks and sometimes his legs and the insides of his thighs, at which times she said she sometimes caught a glimpse of his scrotum.
She told the judge she balked once and Lindsay then gave her a massage, which she said included “my whole back and my bum.”
More than once while giving her a hug, she claims he cupped her buttocks with his hands. And one time, when she was in her teens, she said he ran his hands down her sides and volunteered a favourable critique of her figure.
On the other hand, she also accuses Lindsay of having once held her out over the balcony railing of a highrise building when she annoyed him, and claims that when he and her mother were breaking up, he talked to her about snipers in trees, wire taps on phones and “a blue wall” that protects law-breaking police officers.
“He yelled a lot,” she said, and “I don’t think he liked children. But I was part of the package that came with my mom.”
Lindsay denied most of the woman’s claims outright and provided a very different version of other events.
He testified, for example, that it “didn’t happen that often,” but from time to time at the end of a stressful shift, he did ask his accuser’s mother for a massage. Her daughter, who was then a little girl, wanted to help, he said, and he let her try.
He was adamant, however, that it was only his neck and shoulders being massaged, usually as he sat on the floor in front of the couch where mother and daughter were seated.
Under questioning by his defence lawyer, Clyde Smith, the retired constable recalled only one time when their ministrations went lower. He told Justice Mews that once, when his back was really bad, he lay on his belly on the floor and the complainant, still a young child, “walked on my back and was able to crack it.” But the only clothing that would have been removed at any time, he testified, was his shirt.
When Smith asked him directly if he ever exposed his naked buttocks to his accuser, he said “that never happened.” And when asked if he’d ever complained about his butt being sore from sitting in a cruiser, he told the judge, “I never said anything like that.”
He also denied cupping his accuser’s buttocks with his hands, touching her naked backside or giving her any kind of massage. The closest he ever came, he testified, was those times when he’d rubbed her fully clothed upper back, to comfort her when she was upset or feeling unwell.
He never sat around watching television in an open bathrobe with his genitals exposed, he said, and the first he’d heard of his accuser’s claim he’d held her off a balcony in empty air, multiple storeys above the ground, was in the summer of 2015 in his lawyer’s office.
Likewise, he never ran his hands down her sides, he testified; remarked to her about her figure; or discussed a “blue wall” protecting police officers who step outside the law. Being accused of such things, he told the judge “absolutely devastated me.”
He did admit that at one point he had a collection of skin magazines in his home and two “soft porn” videos, however. Lindsay told the judge he’d collected them in advance of hosting a traditional bachelor party for a friend who was about to be married. But he said the videos were hidden on the top shelf of his bedroom closet and the magazines were kept out of sight inside the bathroom vanity.
Crown prosecutor Nicol asked him why the magazines were in the bathroom at all if they were for a stag party, and Lindsay admitted, “I liked to read them.”
He agreed, however, that when he initially spoke to the Special Investigations Unit in January 2015, he told his interviewer that he didn’t have any pornography in his home back then: “I was embarrassed,” he told the judge. “That’s not how I was raised.”
Nicol questioned Lindsay’s recall of the circumstances of his massages, noting that his SIU interviewer had asked him whether the complainant’s mother gave him massages and he’d said he couldn’t recall.
He couldn’t remember at the time, Lindsay responded, but said he can now, “after a chance to reflect over the last two years.”
He was also asked about his relationship with his accuser and testified that he hadn’t seen or spoken to her in over 20 years until they met again, briefly, at a gathering in the winter of 2014.
Lindsay said he remains on good terms with her mother. But the complainant told him when she was in her mid-teens that she wanted nothing to do with him. He suggested he isn’t entirely sure of her reasons, except that she accused him at the time of letting her down. She conveyed the message, he said, when he ran into her one day while shopping in the company of his current fiance.
Justice Mew is scheduled to deliver his finding on the case in April.