Frost case wrapped in doubt

STEVE SIMMONS,SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

NAPANEE -- As if she was wielding a legal machete, defence attorney Marie Henein systematically and emphatically shredded what is left of the sexual exploitation case against David Frost.

All that may be remaining -- four weeks from now -- are the likely acquittals.

For the most part yesterday, in a thorough 110-minute closing argument, Henein raised all kinds of doubt in the Crown's case of four counts against the former hockey agent and junior coach. One-by-one, Henein sliced and diced the Crown's witnesses -- going so far as to suggest collusion between the star female witnesses, the girlfriends of the alleged victims, Jennifer Hicks and Kristy Boyer. And that raised questions all its own.

"There is no improbability here," said Henein, comparing the inconsistencies of the female witnesses and how they apparently worked together to make the case against Frost to police.

Justice Geoffrey Griffin asked Henein: "Do you have a theory on why they were motivated to do this?" She said she had a theory but then didn't supply one.

This got prosecutor Sandy Tse up on his feet: "They're trying to smear Jennifer Hicks and Kristy Boyer."

The two women have testified they were involved with Frost in threesomes while their two partners deny it ever happened.

And because the case dates back to events that occurred between 1996 and 1998; and because there were several police investigations along the way; and because the complainants and witnesses are no longer kids; there are all kinds of inconsistencies in police statements and almost everyone's testimony.

It will come down to who Griffin believes most.

But it won't be determined based on the sexual history of at least one of the two star witnesses. "I really could care less about sexual consent," Griffin said. "If you think I'm going to decide the case on whether she (one witness) had consensual sex with Shannon in the hot tub, you're wrong."

The four charges against Frost include two for touching his players inappropriately and two for orchestrated sex acts.

The girls insist these acts occurred.

The two boyfriends, who can't be named, both testified for the defence even though they are listed as victims. One claims there were no threesomes at all in Deseronto in the 1996-97 season and the other said the threesomes he was involved with included his girlfriend and Mike Danton, now in prison for trying to have Frost killed.

Henein argued the girls have conspired against Frost -- but if nothing happened, what or who exactly are they conspiring against? The Crown's position was why would they want their names dragged through the news, their sexual history discussed in open court -- why risk all that if nothing happened?

Prosecutor Tse, who did a thorough but unemotional closing yesterday, argued the testimony of the girls is rich and believable. "This is just so real in description of how this all happened," he said of one of the girl's testimony, saying her diary descriptions were the descriptions of a 16-year-old girl. "If there isn't a more teenaged way ... This isn't made-up stuff ... These are the details of truth."

What Tse may not have done well enough was make the case for just how unusual the relationship between Frost and his tight group of players was. He didn't bring to light how unlikely it is for players to live in the same motel room with their coach; how unusual it is for them to live in the coach's home; how the majority of the sex acts discussed in the case took place either in the motel room or the home. And how consensual sex with similar age teenagers is reasonably acceptable but sex with similar age teenagers and authority figures is not.

But Henein maintained, as she has throughout the case, that the control Frost is known for is pure fiction.

"Cult-like control is something you see on TV shows or the Movie of The Week ... I've never known that just because guys become friends, that somehow constitutes a cult," she said.

Said Griffin, in determining the evidence: "It's never a stark choice of who do I believe? It's -- has the Crown proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt?"

He will answer that question with his judgment on Nov. 28.


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