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Bertrand Charest: Mother says Alpine Canada official discouraged police complaint

03/20/2015 04:32 EDT | Updated 05/20/2015 05:59 EDT
The mother of a female skier has told Radio-Canada that an Alpine Canada official discouraged her from filing a police complaint in 1998 against coach Bertrand Charest, who is now facing 56 sex-related charges.

More than 11 women have accused the former national and provincial ski coach of offences including sexual assault, sexual exploitation and breach of trust between 1990 and 1998.

The mother, whose identity is not being revealed by CBC, told Radio-Canada that her daughter is not one of the complainants.

In an exclusive interview with CBC's French service, the woman said she told an Alpine Canada official in 1998 that she planned to file a police complaint against Charest.

"The response was for us to leave it in the hands of Alpine Canada and for us to move on with my daughter's career," she said.

After thinking it over for a few days, the family decided to not to file an official complaint.

The woman said that decision was heartbreaking, but it was made to protect her daughter, who was 16 at the time.

The daughter did decide to meet with police and gave a statement.

CBC News contacted Alpine Canada for comment but calls have not been returned.

In a statement released last week, the ski association said it is taking the Charest matter seriously and will continue to collaborate with the RCMP.

Charest was charged last week in Mont Tremblant, Que., and was denied bail at a hearing held in a Saint-Jérôme court.

The 50-year-old is a former coach with the Canadian national junior ski team, Team Quebec, Team Laurentians and the Mont Tremblant ski team. According to an online profile, he was also a manager with the Canadian national women's ski team from 1995 to 1998. 

None of the allegations against Charest have been proven in court.

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