Crown wants 12-year prison term for ex-ski coach Bertrand Charest

Crown prosecutor Aryanne Guerin, centre, leaves the courthouse in Saint Jerome, Que., Friday, March 20, 2015, after a judge denied bail to former ski coach Bertrand Charest. (Graham Hughes/CP)

SAINT-JEROME, Que. — The Crown is seeking a 12-year prison term for a former national ski coach who was convicted this year on sex-related charges involving nine of his young students.

Prosecutor Caroline Lafleur says a dissuasive sentence is necessary in the case of Bertrand Charest.

She said during sentencing arguments in Saint-Jerome this afternoon there were many victims and that Charest appears to be in the same frame of mind as when he committed the offences.

Earlier in the day, three victims read out emotional impact statements in person, a fourth appeared by video hookup and others had their letters read out by the Crown.

A judge called Charest a sexual predator when he convicted him last June on charges involving nine of the 12 women who’d accused him of crimes dating back more than 20 years.

All but one of the victims and alleged victims was under the age of 18 at the time of the offences, with the youngest being 12.

Defence lawyer Antonio Cabral is expected to give his sentence recommendation next Tuesday. Charest faces a maximum sentence of 14 years behind bars.

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