Okanagan equestrian coach faces sex-related criminal charges

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Equestrian coach facing sexual assault charges
A Kelowna equestrian coach has been charged with six sex-related crimes, some of which involve minors. As Jayden Wasney reports, the allegations go back more than a decade and the accused is set to make a court appearance next month. – Mar 28, 2024

An equestrian coach in Kelowna, B.C., has been charged with six sex-related crimes, several of which involve youth.

Sebastien Benoit Devrainne, from Devrainne Performance Horses, has been charged with sexual exploitation, luring a child, and making sexually explicit material available to a child, along with three counts of sexual assault for allegations that span from 2011 to 2023.

Based out of the Gemstone Acres facility, Devrainne once offered coaching, development, young horses starting, competition, clinics, and importation, from competitive beginner to Grand Prix level in Canada and the US.

Devrainne was a member of Equestrian Canada, and an organization representative said it is committed to the principles of Safe Sport and the Responsible Coaching Movement and as part of this commitment, they take the responsibility of protecting everyone involved in equestrian sport very seriously.

“As mentioned, we are unable to comment on specifics of a case until our complaints process has been completed,” reads a statement.

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“Exceptions are made if we are asked by law enforcement in the instance of public safety or required to support a criminal investigation.

“We can confirm that we were informed in November 2023 that our Independent Third Party Complaints Manager (ITP) had received a serious complaint regarding an EC sport licence holder and that pursuant to section 30 of EC’s discipline, complaints and appeals policy, that Mr. Devrainne be provisionally suspended effective immediately. You will find his name on our current not in good standing.”

When the organization receives a complaint of a serious nature, as deemed under its Discipline, Complaints, and Appeals Policy the individual is immediately provisionally suspended and placed on a publicly-available disciplinary sanctions list and, if warranted, appropriate law enforcement is contacted.

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Last November, a man being described by RCMP as only “a prominent member of Kelowna, B.C.’s equestrian community” was arrested in the wake of allegations of sexual assault and sexual exploitation.

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They couldn’t confirm as of Thursday afternoon whether Devrainne was the person, or more victims have come forward following their call for more information.

There are three victims listed on the charge sheet.

“Our investigators believe there may be additional victims as the accused has been involved in the equestrian community for a number of years,” Cpl. Tim Russell with the Kelowna RCMP vulnerable persons unit said in November at the time of the original release.

“Based on this belief, we are asking anyone in the equestrian community who believes they may have also been victim to an offence of a sexual nature to please come forward and report those incidents to police.”

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