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Woman says Bertrand Charest stuck his hands down her pants when she was about 16

The Gazette logo The Gazette 8/03/2017 The Canadian Press

Editor's note: This article contains graphic content.

Bertrand Charest © Mike McLaughlin Bertrand Charest

ST-JERÔME — Another alleged victim of Bertrand Charest began testifying at his sex-assault trial Wednesday and said the former ski coach put his hands down her pants when she was about 16.

She said the incident occurred as Charest was driving her to a ski competition.

The witness is the seventh alleged victim to take the stand at the trial, which began last week in Saint-Jerome, north of Montreal.

Charest is facing 57 charges, including sexual assault and breach of trust for alleged offences against 12 girls between the ages of 12 and 19.

Wednesday’s witness said that on another occasion, Charest pushed her up against a wall and kissed her.

She said that at the time she “would have done anything” for Charest and hoped the alleged incidents meant it would be her turn to get more attention from the coach.

“I wanted to go fast (skiing) and I wanted to be the best,” she said. “I wanted his attention.”

Under cross-examination, the woman said the alleged groping in the van took place on the road between Mont-Tremblant and Ottawa during the 1995-1996 ski season, but that she couldn’t remember where they raced the next day.

The alleged incidents occurred prior to Charest’s stint with Alpine Canada’s women’s development team between 1996 and 1998.

Several witnesses have testified they had sexual relationships with Charest and have said he was controlling and manipulative toward the athletes whose careers he supervised.

The allegations date back to the 1990s and involve locations such as Whistler, B.C., New Zealand, Italy and the United States.

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