A serial masturbator accused of keeping unbroken eye contact with a teenaged high school student while touching himself in a Kamloops restaurant will remain behind bars, a judge has ruled.
Kenneth Wayne Wickstrom, 65, is slated to stand trial later this year on three separate sets of charges alleging he either masturbated or exposed himself to women at different occasions between October 2019 and April 2020.
On Oct. 24, 2019, Wickstrom was arrested after a woman called police to report a man in a high-visibility jacket and no pants masturbating near a pedestrian bridge over Peterson Creek. Crown prosecutor Tim Livingston said police arrived and arrested Wickstrom, who had a blanket wrapped around his legs.
On Jan. 9, 2020, court heard, two high school classmates were studying and eating at a Columbia Street restaurant when a man — alleged to be Wickstrom — sat near them and began to masturbate.
“He was not breaking eye contact with her [one of the teens],” Livingston said, noting Wickstrom then offered to pay for the girls’ meals. He was arrested the following day.
On April 20, 2020, Wickstrom was again arrested after a woman walking her dog in the Ralph Bell schoolyard in Valleyview called police and told them a man in the field wearing shorts lay down, lifted his leg and asked if she could “see it,” Livingston said.
Wickstrom has been in custody since April 20 and sought bail this week in B.C. Supreme Court.
In a decision on Wednesday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan said Wickstrom, who has many convictions for breaching court orders, had to be detained to prevent him from committing new crimes.
“There is a substantial likelihood that Mr. Wickstrom, if he were released from custody, would commit another offence,” she said.
Wickstrom has a lengthy criminal record, including 14 convictions for committing an indecent act in a public place.
He is scheduled to stand trial on Nov. 10 on the Peterson Creek allegation, on Nov. 27 on the restaurant allegation and on Dec. 8 on the Ralph Bell allegation.