Former NHL-certified player agent David Frost is on trial in Napanee, Ont., charged with four counts of sexually exploiting two young hockey players on the now-defunct Quinte Hawks, a Junior-A club of which he was head coach. Frost is perhaps best known as the ex-coach and agent of Mike Danton, né Jefferson, a former St. Louis Blues forward who’s currently serving seven-and-a-half years in a federal prison in Minnesota for trying to have Frost murdered. Frost denies Danton tried to kill him, even though he pled guilty to the charges. And, similarly, both alleged victims in the ongoing trial deny any sexual abuse took place. The prosecution’s case relies on several women-teenagers at the time-who have already testified that Frost participated in three- and four-way sex with them and the alleged victims, and that he controlled his players’ sex lives down to the minutest detail. Frost faces no charges for having sex with the women, even though they were under 18, because prosecutors determined he wasn’t in a “position of trust or authority” over them.
Maclean’s Charlie Gillis is liveblogging the proceedings:
Monday November 3, 2008
Final submissions today, and there are huge questions hanging over the Crown’s case. Bear in mind that the players are supposed to be the victims here: Frost was in a position of trust over them. The girls are presumed to be participants in consensual sex.
Yet the one player we watched on Thursday was testifying for the defence, not the Crown. The gist of his story? That Frost, though deeply involved in his players’ lives, had nothing to do with group sex in which these young men appeared to be regularly engaged from the time they were, oh, 16 years old, and living in Deseronto, Ont., while playing for Frost’s team, the Quinte Hawks. There was a discernible sense of incredulity in the room toward this testimony. If Frost was not engaged in group sex involving with the players, a cynic might have thought, he was the only one within five miles who can say so.
The Crown was able to convey the sense that Frost’s former players are protecting him for some reason. He was clearly a strong presence in their careers and personal lives, at times driving wedges between them and their families. He even wrote them a kind of manifesto, which our witness last Thursday claimed he filed away and forgot about.
Still, the “reasonable doubt” hurdle looks awfully high. When your victims are testifying for the defence …
P.S. I hope to be a little more expansive in my own submissions today. I’m working off my lap-top keyboard, thanks to a high-speed internet “stick” supplied by the folks at Rogers. Wireless reception is a bit spotty in the court, but it should be a vast improvement over my BlackBerry.
1:45 p.m. — First defence witness is one of the former Quinte Hawks characterized in previous testimony as being in Frost’s thrall.
Was also one of group of five players Frost recruited to play for Quinte.
Stayed in a two-bedroom apartment with Frost and two of the others from Brampton-Bramalea.
Describes Frost as “aggressive and loud.”
Says Jennifer, a key witness for the Crown, was introduced to him by a buddy, started seeing her after that.
2 p.m. — Says he quickly became her boyfriend, and confirms did have sex with her at the hotel where the players stayed, sometimes when others were around.
That was the 97-98 season. They had an on-again off-again relationship.Actually lived with her briefly in Springfield, Mass., but decided he didn’t need the relationship when he got recalled to the NHL team for which he played:
“I realized I’d gotten in over my head a bit.”
2:10 p.m. — Denies Frost was only way she could get access to talk to him, as Jennifer earlier testified.
He’s now talking about his sex life in Deseronto–very quietly. Jennifer introduced him to sex, he says, and they started experimenting very early. But he denies three-way sex during that first season in Deseronto. He does say had threesomes later in Brampton. With Jennifer and two of his teammates. Then, shockingly, with his younger brother and Jennifer. Ick.
2:20 pm — Says in the post-Quinte years had several more episodes of group sex. At a party in Kingston, in a hot tub somewhere. It’s quite a picture of the life of a young hockey player, but Frost is notably absent from it.
Denies three-way sex with Frost; says Jennifer’s claim he needed Frost’s permission to have sex with someone is “ridiculous.”
Admits he was having sex with many other women, but flatly denies Frost had cult-like hold over him, as Jennifer has alleged.
2:30 p.m. — Does say players once gathered at the Twin Peaks Motel that night and had sex with Jennifer that night. Frost was there, he says. But again, denies ever having sexual contact with Frost.
Break called. Crown’s cross is next.
2:50 p.m. — Okay Crown up.
Prosecutor notes that he refused a pretrial interview with the Crown.
Some vague history here, but basically witness admits Frost was playing a big role in his life from the first time he tried out for the Quinte Hawks.
“He was there to get you where you wanted to go. Right?”
3 p.m. — Crown is suggesting witness feels beholden to Frost– that his loyalty to Frost runs deeper even than his loyalty to his parents.
This refers to an early assault charge against Frost. The player says he was furious with his parents for supporting the investigation. Says they turned over personal property belonging to the player to the police as evidence. Agrees he didn’t speak to his parents for two years over the incident.
3:20 p.m. — Doesn’t exactly hold fond memories of Jennifer. Asked if he thought she was beautiful at the time, he says: “I was 16 and it worked… She worked. Have you ever heard the saying, ‘beggars can’t be choosers?'”
3:35 p.m. — Says he’s reconciled with his parents now. But admits that after he made the NHL–we can’t say with what team, because it would identify this former player–his parents came to visit him, and Frost was staying at his condo.
And the folks? They had to stay at a hotel.
3:45 p.m. — ‘nother choice quote for the world of hockey: asked whether his relationship with Jennifer was “purely sexual,” he says, “As bad as it sounds, it was.”
But not for Jennifer, she was pretty much at his beck and call, he says. “Do I feel guilty about it? A little bit.”
4 p.m. — Shown an email circa August 1998. In it, says Crown, Jennifer expressed dismay about group sex she’d had with him and Frost.
Player’s response: “I don’t recall the email, or the argument.”
Also acknowledges that he stayed in touch with Frost right up until his (Frost’s) arrest. Bail conditions forbade contact after that.
But with that, the witness has gone on a bit of a rant. He’s obviously tired of being cast as a drinker of the Frost Kool-aid. “Listen, no one in this owes me more than (Frost). There’s nothing I’d like more than to separate myself from him, and get on with my life.” But he’s not about to “go along with something that’s not true. I’m not controlled by anybody. I’m my own person.”
Coming up, some hotly anticipated medical evidence.
Said His Honour the judge: “Oh, this is the third-testicle evidence. I was wondering how that would turn out.”
Those following the trial closely will know this refers to the defence’s contention that Frost has sac of blood, about the size of a teste, that Jennifer should have spotted if her accounts of threesomes involving Frost are true. Or as I call it, the “polyorchidism” defence.
4:25 p.m. — Actually, that’s not coming ’til Monday, along with final submissions. Have a good weekend everyone.