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Prominent Cobourg

man sexually abused


boys

By ALAN CAIRNS AND PETE FISHER, TORONTO SUN


November 13th, 2003
COBOURG -- A respected businessman who commanded the towns army cadets
was sentenced yesterday to 15 months in jail for sex assaults on two teens and a
12-year-old boy. Former army regular and photo store owner David Parken, 40,
was also given three years probation.
Hes married with two kids and a member of the Downtown Business Association,
Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club,

In agreed facts read to Superior Court of Ontario Justice Hugh McLean, prosecutor
David Thompson detailed how Parken performed more than 150 masturbation
sessions with one teen cadet in the showers or change rooms after thrice-weekly
jogging sessions.
The boy, one of three young victims who cannot be identified by court order, was
14 when Parken first assaulted him in May 1999, said Thompson. He said the
assaults had a "devastating impact" on the victim.
"He has lost his military career, he has health difficulties, he has withdrawn from
school, he attempted to overdose and has a sense of shame and embarrassment."
That same spring, the youth and three other teen cadets were lured by Parken
into a bizarre hazing ceremony during a Friday night sleepover at the Cobourg
armories.
Thompson said that after Parken permitted the teens to drink alcohol, he talked
about how deep bonds developed between soldiers.
He suggested the four should bond with him by letting him shave their pubic hair.
During the shaving, he said, Parken fondled them.
While the first victim and another 14-year-old trooper ultimately told Cobourg
police about the ritual, another two teens refused to cooperate with police.
Charges were not laid, but the additional victims were noted in the agreed-upon
facts.
Two years earlier, Parken was at a Cobourg home watching the movie Predator
with a couple and their two kids, and a niece and nephew, when he struck up a
conversation with a 12-year-old boy.
Thompson said that while Parken and the boy talked about the army and
weapons, Parken rubbed his hand over the boys military-style shaved head and
then put his arm around him.

Parken then ran his hand up his lap and fondled him, despite the boys attempt to
push him away. The startled boy jumped up and excused himself from the room,
saying the movie was too scary.
Parken pleaded guilty to three sex assaults, but a fourth count was withdrawn.
The charge involved further allegations of masturbation by another teen soldier.
Thompson had asked for a sentence of two years less a day and three years
probation.
Defence lawyer Meghan Scott asked that Parken be sentenced to 122 days spent
in pre-trial custody, saying Parken was remorseful and "is now fully aware that
engaging in this behaviour is wrong and caused harm."
McLean said the facts were "troubling."
He ordered that upon release Parken should avoid parks, swimming pools and
daycare centres and not work with anyone under 14 years of age.