PENTICTON - A Penticton man who exposed himself to a mother and two children will serve nearly two months in jail for his actions.
David Ernest Friesen, 65, was sentenced to 52 days in jail in Penticton court today, Oct. 30, after entering guilty pleas on two counts of exposing genitals to a person under 16 and committing an indecent act in a public place. He also pleaded guilty to a breach which occurred after the indecent exposure.
Friesen was charged after a Feb. 26, 2016 incident in which he approached a woman with two children outside the Penticton library and exposed himself.
Crown prosecutor Ann Lerechs told court Friesen had been release on condition not to drink when a Penticton RCMP officer spotted him entering the Copper Mug Tavern in Penticton on April 7, 2017. The officer entered the bar and found Friesen sitting at a table with a glass of white wine. He was arrested and later released.
Lerechs told court Friesen had a relatively mild record, with two previous convictions for assault and breach.
A pre-sentence and psychological report indicated Friesen was dealing with mental difficulties including bi-polar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Lerechs said the psychological report also noted Friesen claimed to remember little about the exposure incident, demonstrating little insight into his behaviour.
She said he was not managing his mental health difficulties, exhibiting a low to moderate propensity for sexual recidivism, suggesting to Judge Meg Shaw a sentence of 97 days followed by three years of probation.
Defence lawyer James Pennington said his client suffered from mental health problems, but with a single assault conviction demonstrated an “unremarkable" life. He said his client has a university education with a degree in archaeology.
Pennington said there was no evidence either child witnessed Friesen exposing himself.
“Certainly, the mother did,” he said.
He said some of the behaviour mentioned was symptomatic of someone with mental health problems.
“Basically, what the Crown is saying is, someone with mental health problems is a danger to the community and have to get locked up,” he said.
He asked for the mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days.
Judge Shaw noted Friesen’s minimal criminal record and his pre-sentence evaluations indicating his mental health issues, but added the counts related to Friesen’s exposing himself to children warranted special consideration.
Friesen was given a total of 52 days jail, followed by two years of probation, which includes conditions of staying away from the victims and no contact with anyone under 16. He’s also not to enter a public park or other public area where children might be present and is also to stay away from the Penticton library and the Bethel Pentecostal Tabernacle.
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