Ex-Canada ski coach guilty of sexually assaulting athletes

MONTREAL (AFP) – A former coach of Canada’s national junior women’s ski team was found guilty on Thursday (June 22) of having sexually abused nine young athletes between 1991 and 1998.

Bertrand Charest, 52, was arrested and charged in 2015 after a former junior skier filed a complaint with police.

He faces up to 14 years in prison when he is sentenced in August on 37 charges including sexual assault of minor-aged athletes and breach of trust.

“The accused acted like a true predator, carefully weaving his web to attract young women, adolescents, and exercised total influence over them,” Quebec Court Judge Sylvain Lepine said.

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“The accused had total control – emotionally, athletically and psychologically – over all of the complainants,” the judge said.

Several of the crimes occurred at the Mont-Tremblant ski resort, as well as in France, Austria, New Zealand and in the United States.

One young victim, who was 15 at the time, became pregnant and had an abortion.