Disbarred lawyer charged with child pornography in Newfoundland

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — A disbarred Newfoundland lawyer who runs a university coffee shop is facing charges related to child pornography in St. John's.

Court documents show that Michael Drover was charged with surreptitiously observing or making a visual recording of someone while they were nude, making or possessing child pornography for the purpose of publication, and mischief.

The charges against Drover were officially sworn in last week, and he appeared in provincial court on Monday and Tuesday seeking bail.

His lawyer, Taylor Starrett, has asked that he be released on bail with conditions. A decision is expected Thursday morning.

Starrett did not return an email asking for comment.

The Canadian Press has confirmed through court documents that Drover is a former lawyer who was disbarred by the province's law society in 2017 for misappropriating more than $181,000 from three clients.

An email from a spokesperson at Memorial University in St. John's says Drover has "been involved in the operations" of a cafe in its university centre, and that the school is reviewing the shop's lease arrangements.

"The charges against him are very serious and the university will take steps necessary to ensure the safety of the university community," the email says.

The details of the bail hearing and of the alleged victim and their family are protected by a publication ban.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 29, 2023.

The Canadian Press