A man who flashed a teen in a Penticton park said “with the help of God and electronic monitoring,” he hopes to be able to not re-offend.
David Ernest Friesen, who has been behind bars since Oct. 14, 2018, will have to serve another 66 days in jail before he will be released.
After several court appearances for his sentencing, due to concerns about the public’s safety because Friesen had not established where he would be residing, the decision about his release came on Thursday in Penticton provincial court.
“The lack of a fixed address is concerning and poses challenges for monitoring Mr. Friesen when he is released … the challenge for me is that without a suitable residence I cannot, as part of probation order, require Mr. Friesen be electronically monitored,” said Koturbash.
In March, Judge Gregory Koturbash called the incident something ‘straight out of a sexual predator’s playbook’ when he found Friesen, 66, guilty of exposing his genitals to a person under the age of 16, committing an indecent act in a public place and two counts of breach of probation.
Earlier this month, Koturbash adjourned the sentencing proceedings after Friesen addressed the court. At that time, Friesen continued to blame the victim and made a “strange” comment about replacing his affection for children by getting a puppy.
Koturbash ordered the information from a previous conviction be available to the court before a decision was rendered. The judge noted that Friesen, who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder 40 years ago according to his defence counsel, seemed in need of “serious psychiatric assistance.”
Friesen had previously been convicted of similar charges for exposing himself to a woman at the Penticton library in 2017, and breaches for taking photos of people at a beach, but it was the details around a conviction in 2009 in Kelowna that the court wanted to hear.
Crown counsel Nashina Devji said Friesen was working as a care aide for a 14-year-old boy who had autism at the time of the offence. Friesen took the boy to his sister’s house over Christmas and when he pulled Friesen’s young nieces hair, he assaulted the boy for several hours. During which, he flicked the boy in the face, put his hands around the boy’s throat, kept him outside in the cold for an hour, applied a chokehold to him, banged his head on the deck and used his palm to push the boys nose back. Devji said Friesen cut his hand during the assault and rubbed blood in the boy’s face.
Defence counsel James Pennington said Friesen is a product of a failed system where they do not provide the support for someone who has chronic bi-polar and where prescribed medication doesn’t always work as it should.
“Understaffing and sufficient specialized facilities and limited programs leave prisoners without the treatment they need. In the case of Mr. Friesen, he has been in custody for almost a year now, although he has been given his medication on a regular basis he has not received any other form of treatment,” said Koturbash.
The judge said he was left with limited options.
“Although firmly convinced that Mr. Friesen needs to be instutitionalized in a psychiatric hospital for his benefit and the benefit of the community, I am not vested with such powers to make such an order. Instead, I am left with the singular option of warehousing Mr. Friesen in an effort to ensure the public remains safe.”
Friesen was sentenced to 15 months in jail, and with credit for time served he has 66 days remaining. Friesen will be on a 24-hour curfew while on probation, is not allowed to own a pet (unless approval is given from his probation officer), and he is also under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act for life.
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