Disgraced Ottawa lawyer turned predator infiltrated AA to be near children: police

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The last time JD Coon was released from prison, the court told him to stay away from children.

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The disbarred Ottawa child protection lawyer was jailed in 2020 for assaulting a six-year-old girl and has lived a low-key life so far.

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Ottawa police say the former lawyer infiltrated Alcoholics Anonymous meetings only to be around the members’ children between August and November.

JD Coon, also known as John David Coon, was arrested at his home on Thursday.

Coon, 58, is charged with five counts of breaching his probation terms. He is accused of being around children on three occasions, of going to a place where children congregate and of using the Internet without supervision.

Coon is in jail awaiting a bail hearing.

When Ottawa police last came to arrest him in 2014, Coon had fled the country a month earlier. As this newspaper reports, Coon continued to live as a fugitive for five years and obtained a teaching position at a school abroad.

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He surrendered to authorities in Bangkok and returned to Ottawa under police escort.

He pleaded guilty to sexual interference and at sentencing in 2020 the court finally heard from the victim’s family in a moving statement which was read into the case by Regional Sexual Violence Prosecutor Louise Tansey .

In the child’s mother’s statement, she said she felt exploited at a most vulnerable time. The sex crimes against her daughter made her upset and angry.

« You’ve made quite a mess. You lied to me, used me, and made me more vulnerable than I already was. This anger turned to anger when I learned that you were attacking my child and you ran away like a coward.

« Your actions caused a major upheaval in our lives, the structure and values ​​changed overnight…I became paranoid for the safety of my family and because of this I had lost some relationships, to both personal and professional, » the mother wrote in her victim-impact statement at the time.

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The mother said it was like a fire hose of emotions when she heard Coon was back in town after turning himself in.

“Since you have been back, the emotions of feeling anxious and vulnerable have also increased. Knowing you’re in the same town now only amplified them.

The court heard the mother had too many restless nights to count, then there were the anxiety attacks and loss of concentration at work.

Still, she said: “I am determined to carry on ensuring justice is served for my child and myself. So that we can turn the page and move on from the traumatic past that you continue to represent.

« The therapy has been a huge help on our road to recovery. »

After Coon’s release, he was banned for 10 years from being near places where children congregate, such as playgrounds, swimming pools and schools. A sample of his DNA will also be taken for the national data bank and he will be placed on the sex offender registry for 10 years.

The former lawyer told the girl he loved her and to keep his advances a secret otherwise he would be in trouble. But she didn’t keep it a secret, and in a September 2013 police interview, Coon denied the charges.

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