Saskatchewan

Fired junior hockey coach accused of sexual assault released in Regina with conditions

Former junior hockey coach Bernard "Bernie" Lynch, the subject of recent CBC News investigations detailing allegations made by parents and players of abusive behaviour, appeared in court in Regina Wednesday to face charges of assault and sexual assault.

Regina police issued arrest warrant for Bernard 'Bernie' Lynch last month

Bernie Lynch, who was arrested over the weekend, was released in Regina on Wednesday. (Matt Howard/CBC)

Former junior hockey coach Bernard "Bernie" Lynch, the subject of recent CBC News investigations detailing allegations made by parents and players of abusive behaviour, appeared in court in Regina Wednesday to face charges of assault and sexual assault.

The 66-year-old is accused of committing sexual offences against a 17-year-old in 1988. On Wednesday, Lynch was released with conditions pending his next court appearance, scheduled for June 2.

The Regina Police Service issued a warrant for Lynch's arrest on April 30. Lynch turned himself in to police in Devon, Alta., last Saturday.

Lynch coached hockey across North America and Europe over a four decade span. 

He is also the subject of a police investigation in Edson, Alta., where he coached the Junior A Aeros in the Western States Hockey League during the 2019-19 and 2019-2020 seasons. The recent CBC News investigation detailed concerns about a close and possibly inappropriate relationship with a player in Edson.

In previous communications with CBC News, Lynch has said he is "shocked" by all of the allegations "that have surfaced over the past months," describing them as a "smear campaign."

Lynch's conditions of release include being on good behaviour, reporting to a parole officer in Regina and only living at an approved residence. He is not allowed to contact the alleged victim, except through a lawyer, and cannot visit the victim's workplace, residence or place of education. 

Lynch is not allowed to use a computer for the purpose of communicating with someone under the age of 18. He is also not allowed to volunteer or gain any employment that would put him in a position of power of youth, or allowed to coach, recruit or participate in sports with athletes under 18.

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