The trial for a Penticton man who allegedly exposed his genitals to children at a playground started today in provincial court.
David Ernest Friesen is facing two charges of exposing his genitals to a person under the age of 16, a single charge of committing indecent act in a public place and two breach of probation order charges.
Judge Gregory Koturbash heard that two children were approached by an older male in the afternoon of Oct. 14, 2018 at the Kiwanis Park Playground on Edmonton Avenue.
During his first appearance in court Crown counsel at the time, Ann Lerchs, said the children were approached by a man who “pulled his pants down and said to them ‘get over here.’”
RCMP Const. Corey Sutherland testified this morning how one of the children at the park, a 13-year-old, picked Friesen’s photo out of a lineup, identifying him as the person at the park who exposed himself.
The 13-year old, who testified via closed circuit television, told the court that he was in the playground with his younger sister when he heard the man call out to come over to him. The teen said when he looked over, the man had his pants pulled halfway down his thighs and he could see his “private parts.” The boy said he immediately went over to his sister and took her home. He said that he didn’t believe his sister noticed the man and that he didn’t say anything to her about it because he didn’t want to scare her.
Const. Dennis Mahar said when the initial report came in from the teen’s mom, he and his partner patrolled the area looking for the man but didn’t have any success. A second call came in from a family that had been at the park prior to the incident with a description of the man’s car and what they believed to be his licence plate. During the interaction, the man also told them where he lived. The caller said they had read a post on Facebook about the incident when they arrived at home and had interacted with the man at the park because they thought it was suspicious he was alone.
Mahar and the other officer went to the residential area that was described by the caller and found the vehicle matching the description. Mahar’s partner said he knew where Friesen lived because he had dealt with him on another file previously. The pair went to his apartment and arrested him. Mahar said when they arrived at the detachment, Frisen said he “didn’t deny being at the park today” while they were assisting in calling him a lawyer.
Crown counsel Nashina Devji said she expects to call two more witnesses on Wednesday.
During his initial appearance in court, Crown counsel said Friesen is facing two breach of condition charges related to his probation from being convicted on Oct. 30, 2017 of committing an indecent act and two counts of exposing his genitals to two children and a woman at the Penticton Public Library parking lot in 2016.
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