'Absolutely did not happen': Robert Regular denies sexual assault allegations

Robert Regular, a lawyer from Conception Bay South, took the stand in his own defence at Supreme Court in St. John's on Thursday during Week 2 of his trial.

C.B.S. lawyer takes the stand in his own defence during Week 2 of his trial

A man with gray hair and glasses is wearing a suit. His hands are in his pockets and he is looking down.
Robert Regular, 72, waits inside the witness box during a break in proceedings at Supreme Court in St. John's on Thursday morning. (Ariana Kelland/CBC)

Well-known businessman and lawyer Robert Regular took the stand in his own defence Thursday during a trial that's heard testimony he sexually assaulted a woman several times, including when she was a child.

Speaking quietly and in front of family and supporters, Regular, 72, strongly denied the allegations against him.

"That absolutely did not happen," Regular said when asked by his lawyer Jerome Kennedy if he had groped the complainant when she was 12.

Regular testified he took on the complainants' parents as clients in 1997, after their children were apprehended by child services over abuse allegations, and remained their lawyer for years until their deaths. 

The complainant testified last week that she was introduced to Regular by her mother in September 2001, while she was under the care of the provincial government. The meeting, she said, was to help facilitate getting the girl back with her family. 

Two men sit at a wooden desk and speak with a woman standing above them. All but one of the individuals are wearing black lawyer's robes.
Regular, left, sits with his defence counsel, Rosellen Sullivan and Jerome Kennedy, during a brief recess in court last week. (Ariana Kelland/CBC)

The complainant said her mother left the vehicle they were in, parked in the McDonald's parking lot on the Conception Bay South highway, and Regular got in the driver's side, where he proceeded to grope her.

Regular said the incident didn't happen and the very scenario goes against his general rule of thumb when dealing with minors. 

"I would never meet with a minor without their parents present," Regular said. 

Contrary to the complainant's testimony, Regular said he did have contact with her between the alleged incident in 2001 and a second occurrence in 2007. Backed up by file notes, Regular said he represented the complainant in a criminal matter in 2002.

Both Regular and the complainant testified they met again on July 24, 2008, to discuss her own child services case, but their accounts of what happened during that meeting differ greatly.

The woman said she met Regular in his office, where he sexually assaulted her.

'It didn't happen'

Regular, however, said he met her at the counter of his law office, as another client was in his office at the same time. His calendar shows he had multiple meetings that day — none of whom were the complainant. 

Regular said he spoke matter-of-factly to the complainant about her chances of getting her child back, while she was living with her current partner who had children from other relationships apprehended by child services. 

"You're never going to get your child as long as you're with that guy. It's never going to happen," Regular recalled saying.

The woman testified she changed lawyers after the incident because of the sexual assault. 

A street with cars.
Regular's law office moved from one side of the Conception Bay Highway to the other between times of the alleged offences. Those facts differ from the complainant's recollection. (Darryl Murphy/CBC)

Regular, however, said he wasn't surprised when she didn't come back.

"It didn't strike me as odd. She wasn't a person I would describe as loyal," Regular told Justice Vikas Khaladkar.

Years later, the complainant said she did return as a client of Regular's in an attempt to keep a good record for the sake of access to her children — once when she was charged with theft from a convenience store, and the other when she was asked to give a statement to police as a witness to a separate crime.

"[I] figured if I had sex with him he would be my lawyer," she said.

Regular denied either sexual encounter ever happened.

"Absolutely not, did not happen," Regular said. 

Asked about whether he was taking Viagra, a medication he was prescribed for erectile dysfunction, during the month of one of the alleged sexual assaults, Regular said he didn't know.

"I just know I wouldn't take Viagra in preparation to have sex with [the complainant]. It didn't happen. Never would happen. Never gonna happen."

Bills and unpaid invoices

Thursday's testimony saw another review of invoices first tabled by the defence during cross-examination of the complainant.

She testified she paid around $200 total for Regular's legal services over the course of her time as a client, and that he promised her the bills were being taken care of.

However, invoices, notes and testimony from the law office's former accountant and bookkeeper show multiple attempts at collecting outstanding balances between 2007 and 2009. At one point, the amount totalled over $1,000, but Regular eventually instructed his staff to stop trying. 

Regular testified he didn't invoice the woman for legal services in 2012 and estimated working about 2½ hours on her shoplifting case. 

"The only reason I can give for that was that it was not worth it," Regular said, which he said wasn't unusual.

Similarly, he said it wasn't unusual to take the woman back as a client after failing to pay her bills years earlier.

"I had a lengthy relationship with the family here," he said, adding he had a "soft spot" for them.

Testy cross-examination

Crown prosecutor Deidre Badcock started cross-examination late into the day Thursday, but the exchanges between the two quickly heated up. 

Regular grew frustrated with Badcock's line of questioning regarding the amount of time he worked on the woman's shoplifting case, which he never billed for.

A woman is wearing a black robe and white tie. She is standing over a wooden platform covered in paper.
Crown prosecutor Deidre Badcock began cross-examining Regular on Thursday afternoon. (Ariana Kelland/CBC)

"Ms. Badcock, this was 12 years ago," he said.

Khaladkar instructed Regular to "be patient and answer the questions," but later stopped Badcock's continued cross-examination on the same topic.

"Understand that he's trying to dig back in his memory 11 years and he may not be able to remember," Khaladkar said.

RNC investigation incomplete, Regular tells court

The court has heard Regular met with the RNC on May 19, 2021, to discuss the complaint against him. 

Lead investigator Const. Nicole Percey was initially apprehensive to give out the name of the woman, prior to the meeting, but she later did. 

Regular said he had six days' notice of the complainant's identity before the meeting and brought along her and her family's files. 

Badcock suggested that Regular discussed the woman's youth record "in an attempt to paint [the complainant] in a negative light" to police.

Regular denied that, saying he wanted to review the case to provide information to the police.

"Because I didn't expect to get charged in any way shape or form," Regular said. "I thought she was going to take a statement from me" and review the information provided to finish the investigation, he added.

"If she finished her investigation, we wouldn't be here today."

"I'm suggesting to you that you did so [read out criminal files] to paint her in a negative light because you didn't want to be charged," Badcock said.

"That's crap — that's crap," he said. 

Badcock indicated to the court that her cross-examination of the accused will continue Friday morning. 

Previous trial coverage:


Ariana Kelland

Investigative reporter

Ariana Kelland is a reporter with the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador bureau in St. John's. She is working as a member of CBC's Atlantic Investigative Unit. Email:

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