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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
NOTL man forced to quitOUTniagara board of directors
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Niagara police say they are investigating allegations made in online video 

 

A Niagara organization that supports and lobbies for the LGBTQ+ community has parted ways with one of its directors, days before a video surfaced that makes serious, unproven sexual allegations against the same board member.

OUTniagara says that four days after the Feb. 13 resignation, an online video surfaced in which the now-former board member was confronted and accused of trying to solicit “an individual posing as a minor.” 

Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Jordon Williams confirmed he has resigned from OUTniagara's board.

Niagara Regional Police spokesperson Const. Jesse Vujasic confirmed police are “aware” of the video and that “cyber crime detectives are investigating.”

On Friday, The Lake Report obtained a copy of the undated video, which was made by a group calling itself Regional Deviant Watch

The anonymous, vigilante-style group has conducted a number of sting operations around Niagara, targeting what it alleges are sexual predators. Several videos taken of the stings are posted on the group's YouTube channel.

The Lake Report cannot verify whether any of the allegations the group makes are true.

In the latest video, Williams is questioned outside his NOTL home by at least two young men who are also filming him with their smartphones. 

They accuse him of knowingly arranging to meet up with a 15-year-old and paying for a “$40 Uber” ride to bring them, posing as the minor, to Williams' family home.

Williams, who appears to be inebriated, denies any sexual intent and says he only offered to “hang out” and possibly to counsel the person.

It appears the initial contact occurred by email or social media. It is not known who initiated the contact.

OUTniagara board members would not share a link to the video nor identify the ousted board member, citing confidentiality.

Reached earlier this week by The Lake Report, Williams said he is seeking legal counsel and that his “removal from the board of OUTniagara was based on internal differences of opinion regarding the direction of the organization.”

“Due to these internal differences, it was clear that the relationship could not go any further. These are normal occurrences with boards of organizations,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

Williams strongly denied the allegations made in the video.

“If there is a video posted alleging negative allegations attacking my character, they are incredibly hurtful and false in all respects.”

After he was asked to clarify whether he has seen the video, Williams blocked a reporter from messaging him.

When first contacted Tuesday, he noted, “This will discredit all the work I have done and wanted to do.”

OUTniagara's online statement says the organization did not know about the existence of the online video prior to Williams leaving the board. It is not known when the video was made.

Current directors would not answer specific questions about why Williams has left, citing legal advice and referring all inquiries to its published statement.

“On Feb. 17, 2022, OUTniagara’s board of directors were made aware of a video posted to YouTube showing a former board member being confronted about allegedly soliciting an individual posing as a minor,” the board says on its website.

“As an organization, OUTniagara takes this allegation seriously. Our organization is committed to promoting the well-being and inclusion of sexual and gender diversity in communities across the Niagara region. This includes supporting and protecting 2SLGBTQQIA+ youth, to ensure safety and health in all their relationships and interactions.”

Asked about Williams’ resignation, board co-chair Celeste Turner would only say he is “no longer a part of OUTniagara.”

She said she is “bound by confidentiality” to not disclose why Williams was forced out.

Williams previously ran unsuccessfully for NOTL town council and the provincial Tory nomination in the riding of Niagara Falls.

In recent months, he spearheaded a NOTL initiative to install a rainbow crosswalk on Queen Street.