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Sask. man Brent Habetler found guilty in Bermuda court

At the time of his arrest in Bermuda, Brent Habetler from Sask., was under conditions in an Alberta court.
In March 2023, Saskatchewan RCMP released Brent Habetler's photo to the media, warning the public that he was at high risk to reoffend.

Brent Adair Habetler – who legally changed his name to Sir Brent Habetler and claimed to be third cousin to Queen Elizabeth II – has been found guilty in April of committing an indecent act and assault in Bermuda.

Habetler, 46, was arrested in Bermuda in November 2023 for masturbating in a public place. The charge stemmed from when Habetler was a guest at the Willowbank Resort in Southampton, Bermuda. He was also charged with assaulting a man at a hotel.

Bermuda Police Service Corporate Communications Manager Gary Moreno had confirmed the charges with

Willowbank Resort in Bermuda was called in November 2023 for confirmation that Habetler was a guest. The clerk said, “Oh is that the man from Canada?" and then added, "He left last week.” When asked about Habetler’s charges stemming from his stay at the hotel, the clerk said “you have to talk to the police.”

In a phone interview in November 2023, Trevor Lindsay, journalist and owner of TNN in Bermuda, said that Habetler was forced to leave the hotel after he was arrested. He said Habetler had gone to another hotel afterwards and was turned away.

During Habetler’s trial in Bermuda in February, The Royal Gazette reported that a woman testified Habetler was looking in the direction of her daughter and granddaughter while performing the indecent act, and told her that he “had an itch.”

Habetler will be sentenced at a later date.

Under Canadian court-ordered conditions at time of Bermuda arrest

Habetler was under court-ordered conditions in Alberta when he was arrested in Bermuda. He had been ordered to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, as well as not be at swimming pools, playgrounds, or day cares. 

Those conditions were binding, regardless of where in the world, a law professor told SaskToday.

“While Canadian criminal law does not apply outside of Canada per se (e.g. he could not be prosecuted in Canada for offences committed in Bermuda or anywhere else), the courts have found that court-ordered conditions (such as those attaching to peace bonds) apply to the person regardless of location,” said University of Alberta Law Professor Steven Penney. “So it is possible that he could be found in violation of those conditions by an Alberta court.”

In March 2023, Saskatchewan RCMP released Habetler's photo to media and said that in the interest of public safety, they were warning residents of the Maidstone RCMP detachment area, and surrounding communities, that Habetler had been charged with committing an indecent act, and that he was at high risk to reoffend.

Bermuda residents unhappy Habetler on their shores

Bermuda residents were outraged that Habetler's indecent act charges in Canada were resolved only by peace bond, and he landed on their shores.

“I stumbled on your article about Sir Brent Adair Habetler,” said one woman who didn't want her name published out of fear of retribution. “He is currently here in Bermuda and he’s at it again! After being arrested for masturbating in public he has been released on bail! Apparently, he and his wife had also been heard bragging about how much money they have and that they are connected to royalty, as if they are above the law.”

Another woman from Bermuda contacted SaskToday after searching Habetler’s name, saying, “You have recently written an article about Brent Habetler, a man released and deemed a high risk to reoffend. He entered a peace bond and was forbidden from frequenting aquatic places etc. He has landed in Bermuda and stayed at a local resort where he committed indecent acts and assaulted a person last week. Why would a high-risk offender be released and allowed to travel?”

A man from Bermuda raised questions about how Habetler managed to find his way onto their shores. In an email, he expressed growing unease within the community about the circumstances surrounding Habetler's arrival in Bermuda.

Fake royal? No proof found in Habetler’s claims to be royalty

Habetler had legally changed his name to Sir Brent Adair Habetler and claimed to be third cousin to the now late Queen Elizabeth II.

But after genealogy expert, Xenia Stanford from Family Roots Tracer in British Columbia, spent countless hours pouring over family trees and archives trying to find any evidence that would prove Sir Habetler's Royal lineage, she came up empty-handed, saying no historical evidence proving Habetler’s claims could be found.

Habetler, and his lawyer, were given numerous opportunities to respond to these findings before they were published by SaskToday, but neither responded.

Stolen valour

Habetler had also claimed that he was a sniper and a weapons tech in the military. He said after being recognized as third cousin to Queen Elizabeth II, he represented the Monarchy at a military event in Wainwright, Alta.

In August 2019, when asked, the Wainwright military base would neither confirm nor deny Habetler's claim to have participated in their military event as a member of the Monarchy.

Three months later, in October 2019, information about Habetler appeared on Stolen Valour Canada. Stolen Valour said Habetler claimed to have served in the Canadian Army from 1999-2003, and was a member of 1 PPCLI / Joint Task Forces 1 & 2 [weapons tech and sniper]. He claimed to have been deployed to the Balkans, Africa, Middle East and Central America and retired on a “quarter pension” as a Master Corporal. He claimed to have a secret knighthood for his combat service in JTF2 on operations in Venezuela. 

Stolen Valour said that the reality was “Sir Brent doesn’t have a single day of CF service.”  

Faced similar charges decades ago in Canada

According to a Feb. 17, 2000, story in the Prince George Free Press, Habetler, then 22, was charged with two counts of committing an indecent act and exposing himself for a sexual purpose. The story states that on Jan. 8, 2000, police received a report that a man had lured a 10-year-old girl into the washroom at the Elksentre where he committed an indecent act.

Habetler was arrested and released on bail on strict conditions. He was barred from all fast food restaurants, the Elksentre and all public places where young girls may frequent such as playgrounds. Following a trial in July 2000, one charge was dropped, and he was acquitted on the other charge.

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