Mitch Coleborn arrested in Tofino
Updated Nov. 2: A representative for Australian surfer Mitch Coleborn filed a not guilty plea in a Tofino, British Columbia, court Monday, following a recent charge of indecent exposure.
Coleborn's court date was rescheduled for March 8. "At this point, he remains out on bail until that next court appearance," Darren Lagan, senior media relations officer for the Island District Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told ESPN Tuesday. "He's free to leave the country now, but he's required to return in March."
The judge returned Coleborn's passport in exchange for a $5,000 cash deposit. If he fails to return to Canada for his court date, which Lagan says he doesn't expect will happen, there will be a warrant for Coleborn's arrest.
According to Lagen, Coleborn has already left Vancouver Island.
Updated Oct. 21: According to the Heraldsun.com.au, a Canadian judge granted Mitch Coleborn permission to leave the country, as long as he returns in time for his Nov. 1 court date in British Columbia.
"He made an application that instead of surrendering his passport, could he deposit $5,000 [Canadian] as an indication of his intention to return to face the charges," Crown prosecutor David Kidd told the Herald Sun. "That was allowed."
Coleborn is allegedly heading to Santa Cruz, Calif., to compete in this week's finale of the O'Neill Coldwater Classic.
Australian surfer Mitch Coleborn was arrested Friday in Tofino, on Canada's Vancouver Island, where he was competing in O'Neill's Coldwater Classic series.
According to reports on news.com.au, the 23-year-old exposed himself in front of a group of kids and adults near an elementary school around 8:40 a.m. last Friday. Reports suggest alcohol was involved in the lead up to the offense. Royal Canadian Mounted Police sergeant Jeff Preston told ESPN that Coleborn was charged with indecent exposure.
If convicted, Coleborn could face severe visa penalties, which would limit where in the world he could travel to compete in surf contests. The U.S. could be among his restricted countries.
Coleborn also faces the prospect of his name being placed on Canada's national sex offender's registry.
"He is alleged to have exposed his genitals in a public place to people, including several children," sergeant Preston told news.com.au. "Alcohol was definitely a factor."
Coleborn is known as one of the more progressive surfers in the world and he's built a solid reputation as a key contributor to the Modern Collective movement -- the next generation of surfing's aerialist chargers featured in this year's seminal film of the same name. He was eliminated in the fourth round of the Tofino stop of the O'Neill Cold Water Classic, which ended Oct. 14, with Australian Josh Kerr earning the top spot. The CWC makes its final stop in Santa Cruz, Calif., this week.
According to Preston, Coleborn was released from custody on Friday evening. At the time of his release, he was required to remain in British Columbia until his scheduled appearance in Canadian Court on Nov. 1. On Tuesday, Coleborn filed an application with the Port Alberni Court to vary his bail document. The court told ESPN today that Coleborn's bail was varied, but that he is to remain in B.C. until his new bail document has been signed.