Smithers-based gymnastics coach charged with sex offences against teen

A former Regina gymnastics coach has been charged with five sexual offences involving a then-teenaged gymnast over a six-year period in the early 2000s.

Marcel L. Dubroy, now of Smithers, is charged with sexual exploitation in a position of trust, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, sexual assault on a person under the age of 18 and sexual assault, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the Regina Police Service.

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"It is not common practice for the Regina Police Service to include information about an accused person's occupation but, in this case, the alleged offences are the result of the position of authority and trust held by the accused over the alleged victim during the years that he was her gymnastics coach, living and working in Regina," police said in the release.

"The access to numerous young persons by virtue of a coaching position, combined with the nature of the alleged offences, prompted this decision to release information about the occupation of the accused."

Regina police first received the report of an alleged sexual assault in November, via the Ottawa Police Service, which was the agency that took the original report. The complainant, now a 30-year-old woman, alleged her gymnastics coach had, over a period of years, committed sexual offences against her between Jan. 1, 2002 and April 30, 2008. Both Dubroy and the then-teenaged gymnast lived in Regina at the time of the alleged offences.

When Dubroy was interviewed by Regina Police Service, he was residing in Smithers and still coaching young athletes. In Feb. 2016, a Smithers newspaper ran a story about Dubroy returning to the club where he first started coaching. It mentions that Dubroy coached in Toronto and Vancouver in addition to Regina, where he was the long-time head coach at QCK Gymnastics.

As a result of their investigation, Regina police officers requested a warrant for Dubroy's arrest. He was arrested without incident and subsequently charged.

Dubroy, a Gymnastics Saskatchewan competitive coach of the year in 2002, was provisionally suspended by Gymnastics Canada on May 21 for alleged code of ethics and conduct violations.

"This provisional suspension is made in conjunction with an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Regina Police Service for alleged activities while Mr. Dubroy was a coach in the province of Saskatchewan," the organization said in a press release. "(Dubroy's) membership is suspended nationwide and he may not coach in any provincially-affiliated member club across Canada."

In a statement, Gymnastics Saskatchewan CEO Klara Klesmarky Miller said the organization is "deeply concerned about these allegations.

"The safety of all Gymnastics Saskatchewan members is our primary concern and we support Gymnastics Canada's swift action to ensure that Mr. Dubroy is banned from all activities involving any gymnasts pending the outcome of the judicial process," Miller said.

The release notes that people with concerns related to Dubroy are encouraged to contact their local police department immediately.

"There is no place for harassment, sexual misconduct or abuse of power in any gymnastics facility and we continue to work vigilantly to protect the safety of all our members," Miller said.

Gymnastics Saskatchewan is "actively taking additional measures to ensure its members participate in safe environments, with the principal aim of of empowering its member clubs with the tools, knowledge and resources to protect children and youth from abuse," the release said, adding that the organization is currently promoting policies and reporting/investigation systems that will be "critical to driving change."

Dubroy is due to make his first appearance on these charges in Regina Provincial Court on July 17.

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