NAPANEE, Ont. -- An emotional, defiant, and argumentative David Frost took the witness stand yesterday in Ontario Provincial Court, claiming that the battery of sexual exploitation charges against him have made it impossible for him to make a living from hockey.
Making it sound as though he was once a National Hockey League player agent of significance, Frost almost broke down in describing the "financial hardship" his family has faced since he was charged with a multitude of sexual offences in August 2006.
Frost described in detail how he picked up and moved his agent business and family to Ontario from California to face what was then an OPP investigation and subsequently resigned as a certified agent of the NHL Players' Association, closed his agency, lost $120,000 in a restaurant collapse in Kingston, lost another $25,000 a year in consulting fees from a junior hockey team and talked about his wife accepting welfare to be able to pay dental expenses.
In a motion to the Court to have the case against Frost dismissed, Frost's lawyers argued that their client's inability to provide for his family is a direct result of his trial being constantly delayed. Frost's lawyer, Marie Heinen, continued to batter the Crown on its revolving-door attitude to the case against Frost -- there have been seven different Crown Attorneys to date -- while asking Frost about the hardship of the 20 months he has waited for a trial that may never get to court.
When asked about his ability to recruit players now or in the future as a hockey agent, Frost answered: "It completely debilitated any chance of any players, I say, ever again."
Frost, sitting not far from Mike Danton's mother, Sue, and brother, Tom, testified that the charges against him were "false" that the police investigator was "corrupt" and that the case against him had "no merit."
Although he was identified as such by the FBI, Frost insisted under oath he was not the target of the murder-for-hire attempt that landed Danton, the former NHL player, in prison with a 71/2-year sentence telling Crown Attorney Jay Naster that "you don't know the story."
Frost was the only witness to testify yesterday on what was to be the final day of the motion to have the charges against him dismissed as a Charter of Rights violation, but the summations will carry over to this morning. Mr. Justice Geoffrey Griffin will take some time before rendering his decision.
Frost was arrested in August 2006 and charged with 12 counts of sexual exploitation involving minors and also one count of assault. Since his initial arrest, seven of the 13 charges against him have been dropped. The charges stem from a two-year OPP investigation which includes incidents as far back as 1995, when Frost was coaching teenaged boys with the Quinte Hawks junior team.
Frost also claimed under oath that he willingly resigned as an NHLPA certified agent and was not, as reported, forced out by the NHLPA. He said there was no point in paying certification fees when at the time of his resignation, December 2005, he had no clients playing in the NHL.
Danton, his last NHL player, has been behind bars since April 2005.
Quite likely, Frost's testimony will have little bearing on Mr. Justice Griffin's inevitable ruling. But the Judge remains perturbed that the Crown has acted so frivolously with regard to the case against Frost.
For the second day in a row, Justice Griffin took swipes at the Crown, saying there was a "revolving door" of prosecutors and "no one would accept responsibility for this file."
"If Mr. Frost wasn't frustrated with (the Crown) I was frustrated. You're allowed to frustrate judges. There's no law against that," said Mr. Justice Griffin, who has presided over this case from the beginning.
"... I was surprised by the rotated Crown phenomena. I've got Crowns who said, 'I'm here today, but gone tomorrow.' "
And then he looked at the current Crown, Jay Naster, and said: "You're lucky I'm not cynical."
We'll see who ends up fortunate when the ruling is made.