Bertrand Charest, former junior ski coach, faces sex abuse charges

An alleged victim speaks out on CBC's The Current after Bertrand Charest, a former coach with Canada's national junior ski team, is arrested a faces 47 charges in connection to allegations of sexually assaulting eight athletes between 1991 and 1998.

Alleged victim speaks out after Charest arrested for assaulting 8 minor athletes from 1991 to 1998

Former junior ski coach faces sex abuse charges

7 years ago
Alleged victim speaks out after Bertrand Charest arrested for assaulting 8 minor athletes from 1991 to 1998 2:14

A former Team Canada junior ski coach has been charged for allegedly sexually abusing eight young athletes.

Bertrand Charest faces 47 charges, all related to the alleged sexual abuse of eight female minor athletes between 1991 and 1998. He appeared at the St-Jérôme courthouse on Wednesday afternoon.

Charest is a former coach with the Canadian national junior ski team, with Team Quebec, Team Laurentians and the Mont-Tremblant ski team. According to an online profile, he was also a former manager for the Canadian national women's ski team from 1995 to 1998. 

The alleged incidents took place in Mont-Tremblant, Que., and while Charest was accompanying young skiers to competitions in Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, the United States, France, Austria and New Zealand.

One of the alleged victims who has come forward says she was abused while training with Charest in Europe. 

CBC cannot identify the woman because of the publication ban.

"That’s where the first serious abuse happened and I felt disgusted with myself and totally ashamed and for the longest time I thought it was my fault because he is a person in a position of authority," she tells Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC's The Current in an exclusive interview.

"He took away stuff from me that I can never have back and made my childhood — for a big chunk of it — a living hell."

More charges possible

Mont-Tremblant police say a first victim came forward in February and they are now seeking more potential victims.

Police say more charges could be on the way.

"We've had some information that other women might have been victims of Mr. Charest, but they didn't come forward yet," said Eric Cadotte with Mont-Tremblant police. "When they're ready to do so they can contact us at the police station and we will take their depositions."

Charest is the co-founder of a glass company, ThinkGlass, based in Boisbriand, Que.. 

Charest was arrested last Friday and released, before being re-arrested early Wednesday morning.

He will remain in custody until his next court appearance on Friday. 

Listen to the full interview on The Current at 8:30 a.m. ET on CBC Radio