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Bertrand Charest case: Alpine Canada says it looked into ski coach in 1998

03/13/2015 12:29 EDT | Updated 05/13/2015 05:59 EDT
Alpine Canada says it investigated Bertrand Charest, a ski coach now facing 47 sex-offence-related charges, nearly two decades ago, dismissed him from the national team and even referred the matter to police after receiving information from "a source."

Charest, the former coach of national and Quebec ski teams, was charged earlier this week with nearly four dozen counts related to the alleged sexual abuse of eight minor-age athletes between 1991 and 1998.

In a statement Friday, Canada's sports organization for alpine skiing confirmed it employed Charest from 1996 through to 1998.

Alpine Canada said Charest was put under investigation in February 1998 after it received information from "a source" that led it to believe he "may have engaged in inappropriate contact with a female member" of the team. 

"Based upon the initial investigation, Mr. Charest was promptly advised that he was being removed as a coach and informed that he was not to have any further contact with athletes while the investigation was continuing," the statement said.

"A few days later, while the matter was still under investigation, Mr. Charest resigned from his position."

Alpine Canada says it was also in contact with the RCMP at the time, but isn't aware of the results of the investigation.

On Thursday, police in Mont Tremblant, Que., said a ninth potential victim had come forward with allegations against Charest.

Charest was scheduled to appear in St-Jérôme, Que., court on Friday, but a lawyer appeared on his behalf.

A bail hearing is set for Monday. 

Prosecutor Marie-Nathalie Tremblay said if any other charges are to be laid against Charest, it will happen Monday.

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