LLOYDMINSTER – A 45-year-old Lashburn man has been charged with committing an indecent act at the Lloydminster swimming pool and police believe there may be more victims.
According to Alberta court records, on March 13, S. Brent Adair Habetler willfully committed an indecent act in a public place in the presence of one or more persons with intent to insult or offend a person. He is additionally charged with willfully obstructing, interrupting or interfering with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property, the community swimming pool, thereby committing mischief.
Alberta RCMP say that Habetler was taken before a justice of the peace on March 14 and released on conditions until his next appearance on April 4 in Lloydminster, Alta., court.
After being released, Habetler was found outside a daycare in Lloydminster on March 14, say police. This was a breach of his release conditions and he was charged with breaching conditions.
Habetler then appeared in Lloydminster court on March 15 and was released again.
In a March 16 statement, Edmonton, Alta., criminal lawyer Kate Engel, who represents Habetler, accused the police of knowing there was no evidence to support that Habetler had breached his bail conditions and “setting up the circumstances of the arrest in order to facilitate a further detention, which was illegal and an egregious abuse of authority.”
Engel said that at the bail hearing, a Justice of the Peace agreed with a significant number of defence counsel submissions and that the Crown agreed there were “concerns” with the breach charge.
“The Justice of the Peace and the Crown agreed with counsel submission that there were also ‘concerns’ with the police conduct,” read Habetler's lawyer’s statement to media.
Engel said a police officer was present at the bail hearing but, in their media release, they didn’t include details of the “serious issues” identified regarding their conduct and the allegation that Mr. Habetler breached bail, and instead chose to paint a false and misleading picture surrounding the breach.
“RCMP were present at the bail hearing yet did not include in their media release details of the serious issues regarding their conduct and allegations Mr. Habetler breached bail, and instead chose to paint a false and misleading picture surrounding the breach,” said Engel.
“The RCMP’s misleading media release has now resulted in threats of violence and highly malicious, defamatory, and dangerous statements about Mr. Habetler being shared on social media with comments on those posts strongly indicating members of the public intend to pursue vigilante justice against Mr. Habetler,” she said.
Lloydminster RCMP believe there may be additional victims and encourage those individuals to come forward.
If you have any information on this crime or any other crime, you are asked to contact the Lloydminster RCMP at 780-808-8400 or your local police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.
Story updated to include comment from lawyer Kate Engel.
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