Lawyer for Toronto councillor Michael Thompson in sexual assault case steps away
Published Saturday, October 1, 2022 1:38PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 1, 2022 1:38PM EDT
The lawyer who was acting on behalf of city councillor Michael Thompson when he was charged in a sexual assault investigation has stepped away from the case.
Lawyer Calvin Barry told CP24 on Saturday that he will no longer be representing Thompson as he fights to clear the charges.
Barry first confirmed earlier this week the longtime Scarborough councillor was facing two counts of sexual assault.
His close ties with Thompson were the reason for his resignation from the case, saying he would not be objective enough to carry out his duties as a lawyer.
Barry added that Thompson retained him on an emergency basis when he found out about the charges, ensuring that he cooperated with police.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said they charged the 62-year-old councillor in connection with alleged sexual assaults that occurred at a private residence in Muskoka. Police are not releasing further details about the case to protect the identity of the victims.
According to Barry, the complaints were made by two women, and the alleged incident happened back at the beginning of July.
Before resigning as Thompson’s lawyer, he told CTV News Toronto that the councillor plans to plead not guilty and will put up a “vigorous defence.”
“We have some information, kind of reciprocal disclosure so to speak, (that) we’ll be providing to the OPP shortly and hopefully that this will be behind him sooner than later,” Barry said.
Thompson is scheduled to appear in a Bracebridge court on Nov. 1.
He is seeking to be re-elected as the councillor for Ward 21 Scarborough Centre in the Oct. 24 municipal election.
Thompson was one of the deputy mayors and a member of Mayor John Tory’s executive committee. He also chaired the city’s economic and community development committee.
In a statement following the news of his charges, Tory said the councillor had agreed to step down from those positions.
He was first elected to city council in 2003.
It was not immediately known who will represent Thompson in the case moving forward. CP24 has reached out to Thompson but has not heard back.