Advertisement

Former skiers strike out-of-court deal with Alpine Canada in sex assault lawsuit

Anna Prchal, left, and Genevieve Simard attend a news conference in Montreal, Monday, June 4, 2018. Three sexual abuse victims of former national ski coach Bertrand Charest have reached an out-of-court settlement with Alpine Canada.
Anna Prchal, left, and Genevieve Simard attend a news conference in Montreal, Monday, June 4, 2018. Three sexual abuse victims of former national ski coach Bertrand Charest have reached an out-of-court settlement with Alpine Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Three former Canadian skiers have reached an out-of-court settlement with Alpine Canada over sexual abuse by one-time national ski coach Bertrand Charest.

The national governing body for alpine and ski cross racing announced today it had reached a deal with the three women, who sued the organization last December.

READ MORE: 1 in 5 Canadian athletes experience psychological abuse: How to recognize the signs

Former skiers Geneviève Simard, Gail Kelly and Anna Prchal accused the sports federation of covering up Charest’s sexual abuse in the interest of results on the slopes and sponsorship money.

The women, who were minors at the time of the abuse in the 1990s, were demanding $450,000 each from the governing body. Alpine Canada did not disclose the terms of the deal but stated in a news release the settlement was satisfactory to both sides.

Story continues below advertisement

The federation acknowledged that instead of providing support when the abuse was discovered, it put itself first, not the victims.

READ MORE: Former ski coach appeals conviction and sentence for assaults on athletes

Charest was convicted in June 2017 on more than three dozen sex charges involving female athletes ranging in age between 12 and 18. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but his lawyers were in court last month appealing both his conviction and sentence and he remains free on bail while the court decides his fate.

Last month, another former Canadian skier launched a proposed class action lawsuit alleging Alpine Canada didn’t protect its female athletes from Charest’s sexual assaults.

Allison Forsyth alleged in a statement of claim filed in British Columbia Supreme Court that Alpine Canada failed to property investigate the coaching history of Charest and is vicariously liable for his sexual misconduct.

WATCH BELOW: How to identify sexual assault, abuse victims