Ex-NHL agent's sex trial opens

STEVE SIMMONS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

NAPANEE -- Two unnamed female witnesses will testify that David Frost participated in and orchestrated three-way sex and two-on-one sex involving them and young hockey players, court was told yesterday on the opening day of the sexual exploitation trial of the former coach and player agent.

While the two women can't be named under a publication ban, which is being challenged this morning by media lawyers, they are, in essence, the entire case against Frost.

The girls, teens in 1996 and women now, will not only testify that they participated in the group sex with Frost but that Frost sexually "touched" at least one of the hockey players named as complainants here, the court was told.

But the largest point of contention after a day of legal arguments may come down to the credibility of the two women in direct contrast to the fact that the former hockey players named in the complaint will not testify for the prosecution against Frost. However, the parents of the unnamed players have been subpoened to do so.

HEARD BY JUDGE ALONE

In all, Frost stands charged with four counts of sexual exploitation, two against the females, two against the males, and if found guilty could face a maximum 40-year prison sentence, according to Section 153 of the criminal code. Frost has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The trial is being heard by judge alone.

"Miss B alleged that in two incidents with Mr. C, during the threesomes that Mr. Frost directly touched Mr. C," Frost's razor-sharp attorney, Marie Henein, told the court. "The Crown theory is that Mr. Frost used Miss B's body to indirectly touch Mr. C ... Our witnesses say it was all consensual."

Yesterday, on the first day of what could be a two-week trial, lawyers for both sides argued about the admissibility of five crown witnesses. This morning, Mr. Justice Geoffrey Griffin, the affable small-town judge with a big-city sense of humour, is expected to rule on the matter of admissibility and on whether the publication ban will remain in effect.

All the complainants and many of the witnesses scheduled to testify were under 18 at the time of the alleged crime some 12 years ago. Crown attorney, Sandy Tse, wants to protect the integrity of those who will testify against Frost by keeping their names out of the public.

Throughout the day, Henein was far more interested in having the evidence regarding Frost's demeanor, his coaching methods and apparent control of his players tossed, calling it a "waste of time and distraction to the court."

"The leap of faith here is because he was controlling, he was involved with sexual activity," Henein argued. "There's no connection.

"There is no question he was a tough coach, demanding coach, aggressive coach. ... We're not here to try his coaching methods. How does that help determine whether there was sexual exploitation ...?"

For her part, assistant Crown attorney Melanie Adams meticulously argued why testimony of three witnesses protected by publication ban and former Quinte Hawks trainer Chuck Morgan and local hotel employee Vicki Boutilier, was relevant to building a case against Frost illustrating his position of authority and the dependency of the relationship with some of his junior hockey players.

One name that did come up yesterday was Bob Goodenow, former head of the National Hockey League Players' Association. In a deposition for the prosecution, one former player wondered after taking a tour of the NHLPA offices with Frost why "a powerful man like Goodenow" was aware of Frost's methods and seem to find nothing wrong with them.

Decisions on the admissibility of certain evidence and witnesses will be made this morning, as will a decision on the publication ban.

The first witnesses could be called as early as tomorrow.


Videos

Photos