Frost faces sex charges

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

The father answered his cellphone late in the afternoon, heard the news and almost went silent.

"I need a minute," the estranged father of Mike Danton said before catching his breath and digesting the words. "Can you read that back to me again?"

Steve Jefferson doesn't have a lot of days of hope, not with his lost son behind American bars, not with everything that has gone on in his family's life. "Finally," he said, almost with elation. "I can't believe it has finally happened. I'm going to go home and my wife is going to bawl her eyes out.

"We've been waiting so long for this."

Steve and Sue Jefferson have been hoping police charges would be filed against David Frost. Some kind of charges. Something to validate what they believe and certainly feel: Frost is possibly a controlling predator.

The beginning of that validation came yesterday when, after an exhaustive and expensive two-year investigation, Ontario Provincial Police's Criminal Investigation Branch levelled what they are calling "historical sex offences" charges against the former player agent and hockey coach, Frost.

In all, Frost has been charged with 12 counts of sexual exploitation and one count of assault that occurred between 1995 and 2001 in the Deseronto and Napanee areas. The alleged crimes were committed against four males, and three females, all of them against kids between 14 and 16. The allegations have not been proved in court.

There is a publication ban on the naming of the victims, who now are mostly adult age. "I wonder if Tom is one of them," said Jefferson of his youngest son.

Tom Jefferson was actually 13 years old when he attended a weekend retreat at Frost's cottage in the Kingston area. In June of 2001, the Jeffersons provided Dr. Brian Shaw, a psychologist with the National Hockey League Players' Association, with photographs that had been taken on that weekend, including one of a young boy naked and bound to a bed with duct tape.

As obligated by the law, Shaw presented the alleged evidence of child abuse to authorities. At the time, Frost and five other witnesses dismissed the incident as a hazing and the police investigation was closed.

Some four years after the cottage incident, in an unrelated event, Tom Jefferson's older brother, NHL forward Mike Danton, plead guilty in a St. Louis court room to an awkward and unsophisticated plot to kill Frost, his close associate, mentor and agent.

At the time, Frost promised Danton that if he entered his guilty plea, he would be transferred to a Canadian prison and his 7 1/2 year sentence would be reduced. Typically, he has not been transferred and his sentence has not been shortened.

"Everything is a lie with Dave," Steve Jefferson said. "From Day 1, it's all been a big lie. Hopefully now, some good will come of this.

"No matter what happens with this, there's can't be any association between Mike and Dave for now. If Dave gets out on bail, they can't be in contact with each other. Now, if Mike gets out, there's no fear of him coming home and hanging around David Frost."

OPP spokesperson, Sgt. Kristine Rae, said the investigation was launched in April of 2004 after one of the victims filed a complaint. "Our leads on the case led us to the other victims, which meant for multiple charges," Rae said. When asked to explain sexual exploitation and assault, she said: "It's anybody who has authority over a young person and exploits them for sexual purposes."

Frost, a one-time friend and associate of former NHLPA executive director, Bob Goodenow, actually was certified as a player agent by the players' association in 2002, one year after the PA's own psychologist presented troubling evidence to police. Frost resigned his PA status after a documentary by CBC's The Fifth Estate further exposed troubling aspects of his life.

Frost is scheduled to make a court appearance today in Napanee with a likely bail hearing tomorrow.


Videos

Photos