Penticton man looking at 12 months in prison for exposing himself in public - InfoNews

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Penticton man looking at 12 months in prison for exposing himself in public

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June 06, 2019 - 12:07 PM

PENTICTON - A Penticton man with a history of exposing his genitals in public, will have to wait at least two more weeks before finding out how long he'll spend behind bars for his latest conviction.

A sentencing hearing got underway in Penticton court today, June 6, for David Ernest Friesen, 66, on four counts, including committing an indecent act in a public place, exposing his genitals to a person under 14, along with  two breaches. The charges stem from an incident that occurred at a Penticton playground on Oct. 14, 2018.

Crown prosecutor Nashina Devji did not elaborate on Friesen's most recent charges today, but recounted Friesen’s criminal record, which included a six month sentence for an assault Friesen committed in Kelowna in 2009.

He was also convicted of committing an indecent act in the parking lot of the Penticton library in front of a woman and two children in February of 2016 for which he received two months in jail and two years probation.

Devji told Judge Gregory Koturbash a pre-sentence report revealed Friesen had an extensive history of bipolar disorder in his family, but even so, had managed to earn a Master’s degree in archeology and a teaching degree. She said he was “well set up” in the community with access to a number of resources.

Devji said his offending behaviour was linked to his mental health issues. The pre-sentence report also noted Friesen’s lack of responsibility for his actions and the fact he blamed children for the incidents he was accused of.

She also noted Friesen was on probation at the time of his most recent infractions, requesting a total of 12 months jail, followed by a three-year probationary period with a 24 hour curfew for the first 18 months, followed by a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for the remaining months.

Defence lawyer James Pennington said his client had a “long family history" with bipolar disorder.

“He has been in custody for the equivalent of 12 months, that’s enough time, so the sentence should be one of time served,” he said.

Pennington agreed to a “measure of supervision” for Friesen following his jail term, but disagreed with the curfew asked for by the Crown.

Speaking on his own behalf, Friesen admitted he was wrong in going to a playground when bound not to by court order.

“It was a breach, and with God’s help I will abide by all my conditions, no more breaches, and not go near children, or places where children would gather,” he said, then went on to forgive his 13-year-old victim.

“You’re forgiving him, did you say?” asked Justice Koturbash.

“Well, I forgive him in that twice he lied in court, but I’ll forgive him for that, because he was under duress,” Friesen answered.

Friesen said he had a place to move in with a friend of his on a Kaleden orchard upon release from prison. But Koturbash expressed reservations with Friesen’s plan, asking for an update from community corrections on Friesen’s planned living arrangements. He was concerned if Friesen’s friend refused him, he could find himself homeless.

The judge also asked for a transcript of the sentencing for the 2009 Kelowna assault.

“I think it’s important going forward, that I know the circumstance of those events,” Koturbash said.

He said Friesen was in need of serious psychiatric assistance.

“It looks to me like he definitely belongs in a hospital. I appreciate hospital beds are short,” he said, adding he was concerned about protecting the community.

The judge adjourned the hearing for two weeks to allow time to receive the 2009 sentencing transcript.

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