'I felt like I could never say no': Alleged victim testifies in sexual assault trial
WARNING: This story contains details of sexual assault allegations
The sexual assault trial for former gymnastics coach Marcel Dubroy saw the alleged victim take the stand for the second day at Court of Queen's Bench on Wednesday.
Details of their testimony that might identify them cannot be reported because of a court imposed publication ban.
Dubroy is facing two counts of sexual assault and one count each of invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference, and sexual exploitation.
He has pleaded not guilty to all five charges.
The alleged victim testified that once she turned 18, the relationship with Dubroy became more serious.
On her 18th birthday, she allegedly received 18 gifts from Dubroy.
She said she felt like she could not say no to him and just wanted to please him, even if it was something she did not want to do. She testified that they started engaging in sexual activities at the age of 18 and progressed to intercourse over the span of six months.
The crown also asked the alleged victim if Dubroy had other relationships during their encounter in which she said he had to keep up with appearances, and kept their relationship strictly coach and athlete in the public sphere.
The alleged victim, now 34, testified that the coach came to the family’s cabin when she was 14, and the two sat by a pier where he told her he would be moving away from the city.
She said the two came to a deal that Dubroy would stay in Regina if the two would get to know each other. She said they stayed at the pier holding hands.
In its cross examination, the defence suggested that the two had went to the pier together to talk about her progress in gymnastics, citing she wasn’t ready to go to the next level and needed more training.
The defence questioned the alleged victim over key facts related to the first time they held hands, including locations, discussions, and what her family was doing during these conversations.
The defence cited multiple international cases similar to this trial including the Larry Nassar case in the United States and Australian entertainer Rolf Harris’ case. The defence asked the alleged victim if she thought about her own experiences, in which she replied yes.
The alleged victim testified that watching these cases unfold around the world as well as training in her occupation led her to believe that what Dubroy was doing was wrong, eventually leading her to tell the authorities in 2018.
The defence also focused on the alleged victim’s character and the atmosphere of the sport of gymnastics, using examples of showing off and always wanting a coach’s attention. They said lack of attention could cause jealousy among teammates, leading to these allegations.
The alleged victim also testified that Dubroy inappropriately touched her more than once in the genital area while training on a strap bar. The defence argued her case by explaining how her legs had to be firmly together during this training, meaning Dubroy would have been unable to touch her genital area.
None of these allegations have been tested or proven in court.
The defence is expected to wrap up cross examination Thursday morning before the crown introduces the rest of their witnesses. The defence is hoping to present their evidence on Monday.