Frost case promises to get ugly
It's been an ugly story already, but with former NHL agent David Frost now facing charges and with a court case on the way, it will only get more so.
Expect sordid details in drips and drabs, leaking out through the media in sensationalistic splashes that will only cast a darker cloud around 'Frosty' and all those who have played under his watch the past 10-plus years.
As it appears now, for all we'd suspected up until late last year, it essentially took an extensive expose by the CBC to uncover some of what was there, ask questions that needed better answers and prompt a public outcry for someone — anyone — to do something.
If any good was to come from Mike Danton's incarceration, that story and these charges, indirectly, are it.
Yesterday afternoon, Frost made one of what will eventually be many appearances at a Napanee, Ont., courthouse, where he was released on $10,000 bail. The former agent, looking plump and dishevelled, briefly proclaimed his innocence in front of a huge hord of media and onlookers.
“I hope you rot,” Jesse Wansborough yelled yesterday as Mr. Frost, wearing a blue T-shirt, khaki shorts and a set of handcuffs, was escorted by police to the courtroom.The atmosphere was not, to say the least, a loving one.
The road to these charges being laid — 12 for sexual exploitation and one for assault — is a long one, and according to today’s article by The Globe and Mail’s William Houston, the investigation likely received a kick start from The Fifth Estate program that aired in November, 2005.
“I do believe the fact that our piece was as detailed as it was and was so obviously supported by the public did have an impact,” [Bob] McKeown [the CBC journalist behind the expose] said yesterday. “It was also heartening to see the police take on, if not a cold case exactly, certainly an old case and a very sensitive one.It's that work that led to yesterday, and a front page, full-length photo of a handcuffed Frost. The accompanying feature article details the length to which detectives went in order to bring charges against the former coach/agent, as Ontario Provincial Police travelled throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe to interview Frost’s former players, asking questions that weren’t always easy to answer:
“Convincing those young women to come forward and talk publicly in a court of law would not have been an easy thing. And, to do it properly, as they say they believe they have, that’s pretty reassuring for a cynical journalist.”
“My lawyer sent him packing three-quarters of the way through it,” said Ian Larocque, a former Hawk who was visited by the detectives in Texas, where he played professionally for the minor-league Austin Ice Bats until 2002. “[The detective] gets up and turns his tape off and says, ‘I’m out of here.’”Given the number of charges laid, however, enough players said what police were searching for.
One who hasn’t talked, as far as we know, is Danton, who has spent more than two years now as inmate No. 10096-111 at a low-security prison in Fort Dix, N.J. There, he’s reportedly teaching English as a second language and working out in the jail's recreation centre.
Presumably, he was also talking to, and receiving guidance from, his old friend Mr. Frost.
Mr. Frost is scheduled to appear in court in Napanee on Sept. 19. While out on bail, he is required to meet with the lead OPP investigator once a week and is also forbidden from contacting a number of people.Who that ‘number of people’ includes wasn’t something made public, but it’s surely a safe bet that, for the first time in a long time, Danton — and any others the former agent still corresponds with — won’t be hearing from Frosty any time soon.
And that can only be a good thing.