Marcel Dubroy during his time as Smithers gymnastics coach. (Tom Best photo)

Marcel Dubroy during his time as Smithers gymnastics coach. (Tom Best photo)

Trial of former Smithers gymnastics coach for sexual assault of a minor underway in Saskatchewan

Marcel Dubroy denies having inappropriate contact with former gymnast; trial to resume Sept. 1

The trial of former Smithers gymnastics coach Marcel Dubroy on sexual assault and exploitation charges is underway in Regina, Sask.

The charges stem from a complaint lodged by a now 34-year-old woman who Dubroy, 71, coached in Regina between 2002 and 2008. He is on trial facing five Criminal Code counts including: from a position of trust, touching a person aged 14 for a sexual purpose; touching for a sexual purpose a person under the age of 16; inviting, counselling or inciting a person under the age of 16 to touch him; sexual assault on a person under the age of 16; and sexual assault.

The woman, a former elite gymnast, testified Dubroy — who she viewed as a confidante and father figure — groomed and sexually assaulted her, according to The Regina Leader-Post.

Over two days on the stand last week, she recounted an escalating series of inappropriate incidents culminating with unwanted sex after she turned 18.

On Monday (June 27), Dubroy took the stand in his own defence. The Leader-Post reported he vehemently denied any inappropriate behaviour when he was the girl’s coach. He testified she pursued him after she started attending university by visiting him at home, which developed into friendship and eventually consensual sex.

The trial has now been adjourned until Sept. 1 to allow a second defence witness to testify in person.

READ MORE: Smithers gymnastics coach charged with sexual assault of a minor

At the time of his arrest in May 2019, Dubroy was a coach for the Smithers Saltos Gymnastics Club and was immediately suspended.

“He has been placed on an indefinite leave of absence, will not be involved in any club activities and is not permitted on the premises,” said a club statement issued June 11, 2019. “Additionally, he may not coach in any provincially-affiliated member clubs across Canada. The safety of our participants is our primary concern, all necessary measures are being taken to continue programming as usual and maintain our long tradition of program excellence in a healthy and safe environment.”

Following the arrest, Regina Police issued a press release disclosing Dubroy’s occupation.

“While we don’t have any other reports that I know of, we anticipate that there may be other be other victims… by publishing the fact of his occupation that is in a sense looking to see whether there may be other victims or other disclosures,” a spokesperson for the police service told The Interior News.

He has not been charged with any additional offences.

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