ST-JEROME, Que. â€” A former competitive Canadian skier says she had an abortion when she was about 15 after having unprotected sex with ex-coach Bertrand Charest numerous times.
Charest is on trial on 57 charges, including sexual assault and breach of trust in connection with the alleged abuse of 12 females between the ages of 12 and 19.
Charest, who is now 51, worked with Alpine Canada’s women’s development team between 1996 and 1998.
The witness, whose identity is protected by law, testified Charest first kissed her when she was 14 and they were on a ski trip in Italy.
She said the sex they began having when she was about 15 was consensual but that she realized later on Charest had been taking advantage of her.
In a calm and measured tone, she said Charest told her she was the love of his life and that they’d have a future together with a house, a farm and horses.
After she became pregnant, Charest picked her up from school and drove her to have the abortion, she told the court.
Their sexual encounters continued after the procedure and Charest himself purchased contraceptive pills for her, she added.
The woman testified she was young and in love with her coach and that Charest often told her not to speak to others about their relationship because he would go to prison if it became known.
She is the sixth alleged victim to testify at the trial, which began last week before a Quebec court judge and is expected to last about a month.
Various witnesses have testified Charest used sex, threats and guilt to manipulate the athletes under his control.
The court was also shown a video last week of Charest’s deposition to police after his 2015 arrest where he said he was in love with two of his alleged victims and told authorities he never did anything to anyone against their will.
The allegations date back to the 1990s and also involve locations such as Whistler, B.C., New Zealand, Italy and the United States.
The trial continues Wednesday.
(Cogeco Nouvelles/The Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press