Credibility of star witness key to case against Frost

STEVE SIMMONS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

NAPANEE -- Now that the dirty little secrets are out, the crux of the case against disgraced hockey coach David Frost basically comes down to one question.

Does Justice Geoffrey Griffin believe in the Crown's star witness, Jennifer Hicks?

If he does, he will find Frost guilty on four counts of sexual exploitation.

If he doesn't, Frost will certainly be found not guilty.

For the past two days, Hicks was on the witness stand, detailing the control Frost had over his tight group of hockey players and by extension, the inconceivable grip he had on the activities of their girlfriends.

On the stand, Hicks, now 28, testified with calm and mature certainty about the sordid sexual activities she was party to and participated in, including the alleged threesomes with Frost.

But yesterday in cross-examination, sharp defence attorney Marie Henein shredded some of Hicks' inconsistent statements, methodically finding contradictions in the numerous meetings she had with police throughout the many years the Crown's office dragged its feet while passing this case from prosecutor to prosecutor.

Henein attacked Hicks' testimony, bringing into question the many times she had allegedly engaged in either threesomes or oral sex with Frost, who was coaching the junior hockey Quinte Hawks team.

She was 16-years-old when her alleged involvement with Frost and her hockey playing boyfriend began.

Henein asked Hicks if there was anything in particular she remembered about Frost's penis and when Hicks said no, Henein went on to detail a plum-sized blood sac on Frost's penis "which appeared (to be) a third testicle ... It's hard not to notice."

"I never saw a third testicle," Hicks responded.

Crown attorney Sandy Tse never asked whether Hicks had her eyes open or closed during oral sex with Frost.

Henein also attacked the idea that Frost could control anyone, especially someone with Hicks' family support, many friendships and her confidence and intelligence.

"For six years," she questioned, "(at the) age of 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, Mr.Frost is able to exert this incredible control -- magical."

To which Hicks replied: "I wouldn't call it magical. He had that control over ( her boyfriend, who cannot be named.)"

"I'm going to suggest to you, Miss Hicks, that you and (her boyfriend) were never forced to do anything you didn't want to do," Henein said. "You're an intelligent adult with your own mind."

"Unfortunately at 16, you're not an adult," said Hicks with certainty. "I was trapped."

Tse made a motion late in the day yesterday to add two additional witnesses to the trial who will tell similar stories about Frost's indiscretion outside the time period of the charges.

Justice Griffin didn't indicate how he would rule on the motion of similar-fact evidence but indicated he wasn't necessarily impressed with all he heard from Hicks, which could give some indication in the way he is leaning towards sentencing.

"It turns out she (Hicks) did a lot of things," said Justice Griffin. "She engaged in behaviour that was playful outside of the normal bounds of sexual behaviour ... a lifestyle not exactly controlled by Mr. Frost." The judge went on to tell Tse that he will judge the case on Hicks credibility and reliability as a witness.

The trial continues today when the defence is expected to call its first witnesses.


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