‘I’m in shock’: Toronto police rule out charges after 30 women accuse former RCMP doctor of sexual assault

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Toronto police sex crimes investigators say there are « no grounds » to lay criminal charges against a former RCMP doctor. That’s despite 30 women alleging they were sexually assaulted during mandatory medical exams when hired by the police force in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

« The Toronto Police Service does not dispute that these women felt (and continue to feel) violated, » said police spokesperson Meaghan Gray in an email Tuesday. However, she said investigators reviewed medical standards at the time and determined there is a lack of evidence « to prove there was a sexual purpose » to the doctor’s exams.

« I think it’s a lot of bullshit. I’m in shock, » said Vicki Gravelle, a 911 dispatcher for a regional police force in Ontario, no longer with the RCMP.

Gravelle and two others came forward to CBC News last month, detailing sexual assault allegations against former RCMP doctor John A. Macdougall, saying he inappropriately pinched nipples, conducted invasive vaginal exams without gloves, caressed their legs and pushed his pelvis against their naked backsides as they were told to bend forward during « spinal exams. »

Gravelle and two others came forward to CBC News last month, detailing sexual assault allegations against former RCMP doctor John A. Macdougall. (Rachel Houlihan/CBC)

The women complained to the RCMP, Toronto police and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario at the time, but their concerns went nowhere.

In early 2018, Toronto police reopened their investigation after dozens of women came forward, emboldened by the #MeToo movement, alleging they too were assaulted by Macdougall.

‘No grounds’ for charges

Macdougall retired in 2001. He is now in his mid-80s and lives in a retirement home west of Toronto. According to his lawyer, Macdougall has dementia, suffered near-fatal pneumonia recently and is living with around-the clock care. His family has declined to comment.

But in 1991, when the three women first complained to Ontario’s medical regulator, Macdougall explained he elected to do lengthy breast exams on new recruits in an effort to teach self-examination technique. He was silent on the other allegations of unwanted touching and invasive vaginal exams.

Following the women’s complaints the RCMP banned all staff physicians from conducting gynecological exams and laid out proper breast-exam techniques.

This photo of John A. Macdougall was taken when he graduated from the University of Toronto in 1963. (University of Toronto)

Toronto police on Tuesday told CBC News that they « know that many involved in this case are angry and frustrated. » But they say they have closed the file after review of the 30 women’s statements and are « confident » in their decision not to lay charges.

« Our investigative efforts were unbiased and extended beyond these statements to include a review of documentation, consideration for case law and research into what may have been acceptable medical practice at the time, » said Gray in her statement.

« We had to determine whether or not grounds existed to prove there was a sexual purpose for the actions that took place. Without those grounds, we simply could not lay charges. … We know that many involved in this case are angry and frustrated but, pending any new information that is brought forward, we are confident in the decisions we have made. »

‘I am flabbergasted’

Sylvie Corriveau, one of the three women to complain about. Macdougall in the 1990s, says she is « disillusioned » by the Toronto police decision.

« You have 30-odd strangers stating the same thing, and the doctor’s word means more, » said Corriveau, a senior RCMP employee based in Ottawa. « Many of the victims are still serving peace officers, do their sworn statements not mean anything? »

Watch Sylvie Corriveau describe when she knew the doctor was abusing his authority:

RCMP ‘OVERLOOKED’ COMPLAINTS OF SEX ASSAULTS DURING EXAM, RECRUITS ALLEGE 1:09

She flatly rejects that Macdougall’s actions were in any way legitimate and maintains he was seeking sexual gratification during her exam.

« If the investigators did in fact state that his techniques were acceptable medical tests back then … I am flabbergasted, because they were not, » Corriveau told CBC News.

Gravelle says she can’t understand why Macdougall’s medical training has any bearing on the allegations by the 30 complainants. « I don’t understand what any of that has to do with anything. If he’s archaically been trained … it’s still inappropriate behaviour, conducted to a woman in an office, behind closed doors in secret, and still under the threat: « You do this or I’m going to have your job. »

Complaint filed against Toronto police

Helen Henderson, who received compensation last month from an RCMP class action fund for abuse victims based on her encounter with Macdougall, says she is enraged Toronto police will not lay criminal charges.

« It’s absolutely devastating after all of our efforts, » Henderson said.

She’s filed a formal complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director demanding a review of the Toronto police investigation. 

Henderson says she is enraged Toronto police will not lay criminal charges against Macdougall. (Rachel Houlihan/CBC)

« They didn’t do their job, » Henderson says.

Another woman, Laurel Hodder, describes the Toronto police decision as « devastating. » She is pressing ahead with her own lawsuit against Macdougall and the RCMP. Hodder was sent to see Macdougall despite senior brass being aware of complaints against the doctor.

« It makes you feel like you don’t matter, » said Hodder.

Send tips to dave.seglins@cbc.ca or rachel.houlihan@cbc.ca  
 

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RCMP investigating alleged assault between hockey teammates on North Shore Winter Club boys team

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North Vancouver RCMP confirm they are investigating an alleged assault involving players on a minor boys hockey team from the North Shore Winter Club.

The allegations stem from two incidents on Dec. 10, 2018, at the private North Vancouver club, although details weren’t brought to police until seven weeks later, on Jan. 27, 2019.

It’s unclear exactly what happened, but the complaint involves incidents where two players on the team acted against a teammate off the ice.

According to a statement from the North Shore Winter Club, the family of the alleged victim told head coach Brad Rihela about the incidents on the day they happened.

After talking to players the next day, Rihela kicked the alleged perpetrators off the team. 

Coach Brad Rihela stepped down after a disciplinary committee at the North Shore Winter Club reversed his decision to kick two players off the team for good. (Chris Corday/CBC)

But when the North Shore Winter Club disciplinary committee later reinstated the boys, reducing their punishment to a suspension, a written letter of apology and mandatory attendance in an anti-bullying session, Rihela quit.

« At the end of the day, a coach’s job is to create a culture and you have to give your players a positive working environment, » said Rihela, who was a paid coach in his first year with the club.

« I just think the decision that was made doesn’t line up with my morals or my beliefs. »

In the emailed statement, the general manager of the North Shore Winter Club said the club « acted decisively » in dealing with what she described as « two instances of bullying. »   

« While all might not agree with the outcome, we feel a fair process was established and followed, » wrote Joanna Hayes.

A team parent who asked not to be named said they were unhappy the two boys were allowed to rejoin the team and unhappy the North Shore Winter Club didn’t support Rihela.

Hockey Canada has a policy commonly referred to as « two deep, » which states that players should be supervised by at least two adults at all times. It’s unclear if there was adult supervision during either of the incidents. 

Sport advocate Matt Young said given the number of high-profile bullying and abuse cases, hockey organizations need to have clear policies and procedures in place and then follow them when problems arise. 

« To minimize [the incidents], or redact the punishment because of whatever reason, is to basically condone it. »

North Vancouver RCMP say the police investigation is ongoing.

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Harassment, sexual assault among alleged misconduct by border agents investigated by CBSA

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The Canada Border Services Agency, which has the authority to detain and search Canadians and carry out deportations, investigated 1,200 allegations against its own staff over a two and a half year period from January 2016 to the middle of 2018.

Documents obtained by CBC News through an access to information request describe a wide range of alleged offences among agency staff, including criminal association, excessive force and using « inappropriate sexual language. »

One staff member apparently created « a hit list for employees who crossed him. » Other allegations appear more minor, such as sleeping on the job or calling in sick to attend a wedding. 

The records released by the CBSA don’t show which allegations were found to be credible or what actions the agency took to address specific problems. 

They come from a database of internal investigations undertaken by CBSA in response to complaints about conduct.

The database provides a rare glimpse into how one of the largest policing bodies in the country handles complaints against its own. The CBSA remains the only major law enforcement body that has no outside oversight of staff conduct. 

Toronto immigration lawyer Joel Sandaluk said the CBSA needs outside oversight. (John LeSavage/CBC)

« CBSA, for many years, has been a law unto itself, » said Toronto immigration lawyer Joel Sandaluk.

« It’s hard to imagine an organization with the size and the complexity and the amount of responsibility and authority of an agency like this would be completely without any kind of oversight. » 

50 categories of offenses

A CBC News analysis found 50 different categories of offenses. The largest number are filed under « neglect of duty, » with 228 total allegations, followed by 183 allegations of « discreditable conduct » while on duty. 

The agency also investigated 59 allegations of harassment, 38 allegations of « criminal association » and at least five allegations of sexual assault. 

Specific details are redacted in some cases but not all. For example, one employee was accused of « selling prohibited knives. » Another « may have conducted an unauthorized query of an ex-[girlfriend]. »

Roughly, a quarter of misconduct cases involved multiple allegations, including a small number of cases with more than a dozen allegations each. 

 

There are reasons to believe the actual number of misconduct allegations against CBSA officers is far higher than what was disclosed to CBC News, according to Sandaluk. 

It can be difficult to convince people to file complaints, he said. Some people who come into contact with the CBSA over immigration issues decide not to file legitimate complaints about staff, fearing repercussions from the agency.

Temporary residents and visitors to Canada, Sandaluk said, « simply aren’t around long enough to make a complaint or to see that complaint through. »

« These allegations — as disturbing as they are —  probably only represent the tip of the iceberg, » he said.

They ‘kept kicking my back with their knees’

Lucy Granados, who was deported to Guatemala last year, alleges CBSA officers seriously injured her during an arrest. Granados arrived in Canada in 2009 and remained in Montreal after making a failed refugee claim.

When Granados applied for permanent residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, the border agency moved to deport her, sending four officers to her Montreal apartment building last year. 

Internal reports written by three of the arresting officers and obtained by CBC News from a group advocating on behalf of Granados indicate one officer wrote that some force was necessary because Granados would not surrender her hand to be cuffed.

Lucy Granados was deported to Guatemala last year. Granados said she was seriously injured during an arrest by CBSA agents prior to her deportation. (Dave St. Amant/CBC)

Granados, who didn’t file a complaint, said at least one CBSA officer violently pushed her to the ground and kneeled on her back while pulling on her arm. It’s unclear if her case was a part of the database.

« They pulled it backwards and kept kicking my back with their knees, » Granados said in a video-link interview with CBC News, speaking through a translator.

CBC News shared the reports, which are filed any time force is used during an arrest, with CBSA spokesperson Nicholas Dorion. 

« CBSA officers are trained in the use of force and are expected to follow all related CBSA rules and procedures, » Dorion said in an email.

« While unfortunate, CBSA officers do encounter circumstances where use of force is necessary. » 

Complaint to CBSA ‘doesn’t really lead anywhere’

Dorion would not say whether Granados’s removal prompted any internal investigation into staff conduct, citing privacy legislation.

« A specific individual’s file, including those from internal investigations resulting from an external complaint to the CBSA or from any alleged misconduct behaviour or other personnel security and professional standards issues reported by managers, is protected by these parameters, » Dorion said in an email.

Dr. Nazila Bettache reviewed Granados’s medical file and concluded she suffered a traumatic injury during her arrest. (Dave St. Amant/CBC)

Nazila Bettache, a Montreal-based physician and social justice activist who reviewed Granados’s medical file, said Granados suffered « a traumatic injury … which basically damaged the nerves in her cervical spine, » causing paralysis in her arm.

« Where is the accountability? » she said. « Who was there to … look after the situation and make sure that procedures are respected, that there is no abuse of power? »

Granados said she still suffers from a lack of feeling in her arm.

Advocates for undocumented workers who knew Granados when she lived in Montreal said they have so little faith in CBSA’s ability to police itself, they’ve encouraged her to pursue a complaint through the United Nations rather than with the CBSA.

« We have enough experience to know that making a complaint to the CBSA about the CBSA doesn’t really lead anywhere, » said Mary Foster of the group Solidarity Across Borders.

Mary Foster of the activist group Solidarity Across Borders says she has no faith in the CBSA’s complaint process. (Dave St Amant/CBC)

Even if Granados had filed a complaint, there’s no assurance it would appear in the numbers released by the CBSA.

Public complaints submitted online are initially filed separately, a CBSA spokesperson said. After review, the allegations may be reported to the Personnel Security and Professional Standards Division (PSPSD), in which case they would be added to the database.  

« Allegations are inputted in the database and are thoroughly investigated to determine whether they are founded, » a spokesperson said in an email. 

Liberals still promising legislation 

The Liberal government has been promising to introduce legislation to add an oversight process.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said in 2016 that the lack of CBSA oversight was « a gap that definitely needs to be addressed. »

« CBSA officers processed 95 million travellers in 2017, and only a very small number of these interactions led to a formal complaint, » Goodale’s spokesperson, Scott Bardsley, said in an email. 

His office declined an interview request but said the minister is still committed to creating oversight legislation.

With an election looming this fall, however, it’s not clear any legislation could be passed before the current session of the House of Commons is finished.

« As long as you don’t create this agency, misconduct or harassment can occur on an ongoing basis, essentially unanswered, » Sandaluk said. 

If you have tips or story suggestions send them to diana.swain@cbc.ca or stephen.davis@cbc.ca

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Regina sailor charged with sexual assault at Halifax base in 2018

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A reservist with a unit from Regina has been charged with sexual assault in connection with an alleged incident a CFB Halifax in March 2018.

The Canadian Armed Forces Department of National Defence says military police in Halifax received a report in June 2018 of a possible sexual assault that was alleged to have occurred at the end of March 2018.

READ MORE: Sexual assault charge laid against Canadian Armed Forces member

The investigation began at the complainant’s request, and as a result, Ordinary Seaman David Katabarwa, a reservist with HMCS Queen, has been charged with one count of sexual assault.

Katabarwa was a full-time employee at CFB Halifax at the time of the alleged assault.

READ MORE: Sexual assault charges laid against Canadian Armed Forces member in Halifax

Katabarwa is scheduled to appear in Halifax provincial court on March 4.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Wife of gymnastics coach on trial for sexual assault suspended from coaching

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The wife of a former national gymnastics coach undergoing trial for sexual assault has been suspended by Gymnastics Canada. 

The suspension of Elizabeth Brubaker, a coach at the Bluewater Gymnastics Club in Sarnia, Ont., comes less than a month before her husband, Dave Brubaker, will learn his fate in a Sarnia court. Dave Brubaker is a former Olympic women’s gymnastics coach who has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation. Elizabeth Brubaker is facing no criminal charges.

A judge is expected to hand down a verdict on the charges facing Dave Brubaker on Feb. 13.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Gymnastics Canada said it suspended Elizabeth Brubaker after receiving « a number of written formal complaints… that outlined alleged violations of Gymnastics Canada’s ethics and code of conduct policies over an extended period of time a number of years ago. »

Gymnastics Ontario wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of the complaints but said the provisional suspension « is in keeping with Gymnastics Canada’s complaint management protocol. » An investigation into the complaints is expected to take up to a month to complete.

« In the meantime, Gymnastics Canada and Gymnastics Ontario will work closely with the Bluewater Club to ensure that the competition and training needs of all athletes in the Club remain well served, » the Gymnastics Canada statement said.

Elizabeth Brubaker has also been provisionally suspended by Gymnastics Ontario and the Bluewater Gymnastics Club.

Coached at Rio Olympics

The complainant in the case against Dave Brubaker testified in court in December that Brubaker touched her inappropriately during sports massages, starting when she was 12 years old. Brubaker denies the charges, but admitted that he would kiss the complainant on the lips to say hello and goodbye.

The charges relate to alleged incidents between 2000 and 2007. The complainant is now in her 30s.

Brubaker was Canada’s head gymnastics coach at the 2016 Rio Olympics and was the women’s national team director at the last year’s world championships in Montreal, where Halifax native Ellie Black captured the women’s all-around silver medal.

Dave Brubaker has been placed on administrative leave by Gymnastics Ontario.

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Montreal priest found guilty of sexual assault, sexual touching – Montreal

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Montreal priest Brian Boucher has been found guilty on three charges of sexual assault and sexual touching.

The victim, now in his 20s, was a minor at the time.

READ MORE: Montreal priest takes the stand and denies allegations in sexual abuse trial

He said he suffered years of abuse, claiming it began when Boucher asked him about his sexual feelings.

The victim said it escalated to sexual touching, oral sex and penetration.

Tuesday, the judge said the defendant was asking the court to believe the unbelievable when it came to the defence’s argument that the victim had fabricated the abuse as retaliation for a prior incident where he was reprimanded by Boucher.

READ MORE: Montreal Catholic Church moving towards forbidding priests from being alone with children

Boucher was arrested in March 2017.

He had started working as the parish priest at a church in Montreal’s Town of Mount Royal (TMR) in 2005.

He was heavily involved in all activities at the Our Lady of the Annunciation Church, including helping children with their first communions and confirmations.

WATCH BELOW: Questions raised about when Catholic Church learned of allegations against Father Boucher






In 2014, Boucher abruptly left the church, without finishing his mandate, to head to Washington for theological studies.

READ MORE: Montreal priest charged with sexual assault spanning 15 years

A publication ban prohibited any details of the case(s) that could identify any of the boys.

Boucher is expected back in court Jan. 21 for a separate trial.

WATCH BELOW: A priest from a parish in Town of Mount Royal was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual touching






© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Quebecer barred from leaving Dominican Republic after alleged attempted sexual assault on 7-year-old girl

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A 69-year-old Quebecer is under investigation in the Dominican Republic, after police say he tried to have sex with a seven-year-old girl « with her father’s consent. »

Yvon Joseph Ghislain Gaudet was arrested on New Year’s Eve in a hotel in Sosua, in the province of Puerto Plata, on the northern part of the Caribbean island.

Dominican Republic National Police also arrested the girl’s father in a nearby hotel.

He had apparently taken his daughter to Gaudet’s room, according to a press release by the police force.

Gaudet has since been released from custody because « no one in the family was willing to press charges, » said Rosaria del Carmen García, an officer in charge of public relations for the region.

The seven-year-old was under the sole care of her father, García told CBC News, because her mother has died. Her older sister refused to press charges against the father or Gaudet.

The girl has been taken to a safe place, García said.

While Gaudet is no longer under arrest, he is not allowed to leave the country while police continue their investigation. His cellphone and computer have been seized.

Gaudet is originally from Quebec and is a former journalist with Radio-Canada.

In an email, Global Affairs Canada told CBC News it is « aware of a Canadian citizen under investigation in the Dominican Republic. Due to the provisions of the Privacy Act, no further information can be disclosed, » said spokesperson Richard Walker.

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Former St. Mike’s students in court for sex assault case as police update media on investigation

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The case of six former St. Michael’s College School students facing criminal charges in connection with a cellphone video shared on social media showing the sexual assault of another student in a locker room returned to a Toronto court Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, Toronto police say they will update the media on the police investigation into ongoing allegations of assault and sexual assault at the school at 11:30 a.m.

Police last week revealed they are investigating a total of eight incidents at the school.

The six boys are each charged with sexual assault with a weapon, gang sexual assault and assault. All were granted bail at a court hearing in November. Their identities are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The Crown in court Wednesday said she has not yet finished vetting the evidence that must be disclosed to the defence, including videos that require redaction. She noted some of the disclosure requires judicial authorization to release — likely in part because police have said the video connected to the charges is considered child pornography.

The court appearance comes as police investigate eight incidents at the prestigious, private all-boys school. Police have released limited information about the incidents, but they include two alleged sexual assaults, three alleged assaults and one incident related to threatening.

Last week, the school announced that members of a “respect and culture review” committee will examine the school’s culture and policies relayed to physical, verbal and sexual abuse, including hazing.

The school’s interim principal also announced the cancellation of the varsity basketball season for this school year and the junior and varsity football seasons for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Lawyers appeared in court on behalf of two of the boys on Wednesday.

The boys are scheduled to return to court Jan. 28.

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Ex-Canadian gymnastics coach’s sex assault trial shows sport still in flux

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For David Brubaker, it must have felt like a million kilometres from his moment of Olympic glory.

It was only a few years ago that he had reached the top of his profession, leading Canada’s gymnastics team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

This week, the decorated coach was in a Sarnia courtroom, facing two sexual assault charges levelled by a former student.

Brubaker’s trial comes at a time when the sport of gymnastics is in a seismic flux. In the U.S., Larry Nassar, the former U.S. gymnastics national team doctor who was convicted of assaulting hundreds of young gymnasts under the guise of treatment, has brought the sport to its knees. Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in jail for his crimes. And just this week, U.S. Gymnastics declared bankruptcy as it desperately tries to make a fresh start.

Here in Canada, Brubaker is one of a number of high-profile coaches currently before the courts.

Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation The charges relate to alleged incidents between 2000 and 2007. The trial concluded Friday.

Justice Deborah Austin will determine whether or not Brubaker is guilty on Feb. 13. 

But this case offers another portrait of a sport we are assured has changed: scenarios that breed allegations like the kind seen in the Brubaker case are no longer tolerated.

But listening to the testimony in this case, you might wonder if that’s possible. The world of elite gymnastics requires the perfect union of athletic prowess and rigid discipline. It often takes an intensive partnership with a coach that can become dependent. Former Canadian Olympic gymnast Kyle Shewfelt, who captured gold at the 2004 Athens Games, has watched this case closely. He currently runs his own gymnastics club in Calgary.

« These young women who are looking just to be validated, telling them, ‘That was a good one’ makes them stand up a little taller and makes their chest puff out a little bit more, » Shewfelt says. « They feel like getting a compliment from the coach is like the best thing in the world. And I think that’s a groomed behaviour and that’s not right. »

WATCH: Ex-coach defends massage techniques:

CBC Sports’ Jamie Strashin has the latest from Sarnia on the sexual assault case against former Canadian gymnastics coach Dave Brubaker. 1:21

Kiss on the lips

In the case involving Brubaker, the complainant told the court, from the time she was 12, he would commonly greet her with a kiss on the lips.

He doesn’t deny this.

« I think it was just out of habit … that she started to kiss me, » Brubaker said, insisting the kisses were innocent. « I don’t come from a kissy family, so to me it’s just part of the gymnast culture. It’s not something I need as a man. »

One wonders if that culture still exists.

Brubaker told the court the complainant initiated the kisses after a competition in Europe.

Brubaker’s wife Liz, who worked alongside her husband, testified she found nothing odd about the kisses, but acknowledged her husband kissed other students only on the cheek.

The complainant also alleged that Brubaker touched her inappropriately while treating her for persistent pain and soreness.

Brubaker also vehemently denied this. But at the same time, an expert witness told the court that treatment, often in sensitive areas, is an integral and necessary part of maintaining the body of an elite gymnast.

« It’s required, » said sports physiologist Ronald Weese, who also worked extensively training elite coaches, including the Brubakers.

Weese told the court that maintaining the muscles required for nuanced splits and manoeuvres is extremely important.

Is this kind of treatment any less important today?

« You can’t get [to an elite level] from here without an emphasis on the small, finer details. » Weese told the court.

Brubaker denies touching a former student inappropriately while treating her for persistent pain and soreness. (Geoff Robins/Canadian Press)

Complainant lived with Brubakers

During their lengthy time as coach and student, the complainant also lived with the Brubakers. The court heard that David Brubaker took special care of her, picking her up almost daily at school before driving her home and then to practice.

On a number of occasions, it’s alleged, Brubaker invited the complainant into his bedroom to join him for a nap. She alleges Brubaker would « spoon » her and tickle her belly.

He denied this ever happened.

« She required a lot of attention, » Brubaker told the court during his testimony. « I did everything I could to give her what she needed to achieve her goals. »

WATCH: Kyle Shewfelt reacts to allegations against Brubaker:

As a gymnastics coach, Olympic champion Kyle Shewfelt describes his shocked reaction to the allegations against former national team coach, as well as how these developments could spark change in the sport’s culture. 4:03

Gymnastics officials on both sides of the border say steps have been taken to eliminate scenarios where potential allegations like these could arise from. There is a rule in place to ensure two adults are present when a child is alone. Organizations are working harder than ever to define and enforce boundaries coaches should never cross, like communicating with athletes on social media. Children are more empowered and there are more avenues to report wrongdoing, according to officials.

But we know that in sports like gymnastics, the road to the podium is achieved in solitude, often driven by a coach the athlete is willing to do anything for.

Shewfelt hopes this is all changing. He hopes the drive to be the best won’t have to come with the pain we have seen recently played out in courtrooms.

« My hope is that the sport can evolve to a place where young women are given the ability to make decisions for themselves in the sport. And I think that there are a lot of clubs in this country that do provide that opportunity, » Shewfelt says.

« And so I encourage parents to look for a place that allows their daughter to have a voice and allow others [to] allow their daughter to be the one driving the bus. »

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St. Michael’s cancels basketball, football seasons amid sex assault scandal

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A prestigious Toronto private school rocked by allegations of assault and sexual assault by students has cancelled several sports programs.

In a note to parents Wednesday afternoon, St. Michael’s College School says that in light of the recent scandal, it made « the difficult but necessary decision » to cancel the basketball program this year and two football programs next year.

Last month, six students were charged with sex assault in connection with an attack that allegedly involved several members of a sports team and was captured on video.

Police say they are investigating a total of six cases involving students at the school, including one that police sources say involved members of a different team.

The all-boys Catholic school says students involved in competitive sports will participate in workshops about bullying, harassment and abuse.

St. Michael’s says students, faculty and staff have been participating in workshops throughout December that focus on the healing and well-being of all students.

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