British Columbia

Teen names hockey coach, Heidi Ferber, in sexploitation case

A Kamloops hockey coach charged with sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old hockey player can now be named after a B.C. Supreme court judge lifted a publication ban at the request of her victim, hockey player Chanelle Petrie.

Court lifts publication ban at victim Chanelle Petrie's request so she can speak out

Heidi Ferber, a former hockey coach in Kamloops, B.C., was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor and admitting to an affair in 2010 with a 15-year-old player. (Google+)

Kamloops hockey player Chanelle Petrie was only 15 when her coach, 39-year-old Heidi Ferber, began a sexual relationship with her.

Ferber, who has pleaded guilty to charges of sexual exploitation for the relationship, can now be publicly named because a B.C. Supreme court judge lifted the case's publication ban at Petrie's request.

The law provides for an automatic ban on the publication of names in sex cases in order to protect the identify of the victim.

Chanelle Petrie, now 18, says she came forward and agreed to have the publication ban protecting her identity lifted to encourage other women in similar circumstances to speak out. (Facebook)

Petrie says she applied to have the publication ban on identifying Ferber lifted because she wants other young people to know that it's OK to speak out.

"It was absolutely wrong and now I see like, I'm not ashamed of it," she said.

Petrie, now 18, plays for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Trojans women's hockey team and lives in Calgary, Alta.

"I wasn't the person who did anything wrong. I was young, I didn't know any better, but it's hard."

Petrie says she considered Ferber a role model. The two became close, and in the fall of 2010 they began a sexual relationship.

"I trusted her [when] she said it was OK and that it wasn't wrong and so I believed her."

Petrie eventually told a counsellor and her parents, after which point Ferber was charged.

Petrie says she wants other victims to not be ashamed, and feel that they can speak out.

"You can make it through it and you have people around you and you've gotta use them, you've gotta lean on them."

Ferber, who pleaded guilty to charges of sexual exploitation and sexual interference with a person under the age of 16, will be sentenced April 2.

with files from the CBC's Brady Strachan


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