'Society will condemn you', Bertrand Charest's mother writes to her son

Bertrand Charest

The sexual assault trial of former national ski coach Bertrand Charest is wrapping up with closing arguments this week.

The Crown and the defence have until next Tuesday to submit their arguments in writing.

Meanwhile, a letter written by Charest's mother to her son in 1993 has surfaced. It was read in court during a bail hearing for Charest in 2015, but its contents have been under a publication ban until now.

Charest's mother believed his son was having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old athlete he was coaching, while Charest was 28 years old. The year before, the young skier was staying at Charest's parents' house, where Charest was also living at the time, during the ski season. They supposedly had sexual relations on several occasions under their roof.

"Bertrand...I have the felling that your relationship with [skier's name] is more than just a coach-athlete relationship," the letter reads. "If that's the case, I don't think you understand the gravity of your behavior, or you're just plain naive.

"Your actions are unbecoming and unforgivable. [She] is a child. She's in an unstable period in her life and you dare play with her feelings. You risk losing your job, being banished from your circle and losing your friends — no more, no less. Your future is at stake. A mother can forgive, but society is unforgiving and will condemn you."

Charest faces 57 charges sexual assault and breach of trust charges. He's believed to have assaulted at least 12 young girls between the ages of 12 and 19 during his time as a youth ski coach in the 1990s.

The verdict is expected to come down at the St. Jerome courthouse on June 22.


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