Alpine Canada says it told RCMP about allegations against ski coach

Alpine Canada

MONTREAL – Alpine Canada says it contacted the RCMP in 1998 about sexual-abuse complaints against a ski coach who now faces 47 criminal charges.

The organization said in a statement Friday it is not aware of the results of the RCMP investigation into Bertrand Charest.

Charest was arraigned in Quebec on Wednesday on 47 charges, including sexual assault and breach of trust involving eight females between the ages of 12 and 19.

The alleged crimes occurred between 1991 and 1998.

A ninth alleged victim came forward Thursday.

Alpine Canada said Charest, 50, was a coach with its women’s development team between 1996 and 1998.

In its statement, Alpine Canada said it opened its own investigation early in 1998 and then told Charest he was being removed as a coach.

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“A few days later, while the matter was still under investigation, Mr. Charest resigned from his position,” it said.

“ACA (Alpine Canada Alpin) was also in contact with the RCMP in 1998 regarding this matter and provided full co-operation to the RCMP in their investigation of the complaint. ACA is not aware of the results of the RCMP’s investigation.”

Charest was expected back in court Friday but the case was put off until Monday when a bail hearing is scheduled.

Mont-Tremblant police have said the alleged assaults took place north of Montreal and in France, Austria, New Zealand and the United States.

Prosecutor Marie-Nathalie Tremblay said Thursday the Crown knows more women, including some who do not live in Canada, may still file official complaints against Charest.

The ninth woman to turn to authorities alleged she was sexually assaulted in the Mont-Tremblant area, which is home to an internationally recognized ski resort in the Laurentian mountains north of Montreal, said Mont-Tremblant police spokesman Eric Cadotte.

“We have reason to believe the majority of the (alleged) victims have come forward, but we think there could still be more.”

Montreal La Presse reported Thursday that the young women believed they were having a monogamous relationship with Charest and that tensions flared among some of them after they learned he was allegedly having sexual relations with several athletes.

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