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Former Smithers gymnastics coach found not guilty of sexual offences involving a minor

Marcel Dubroy was acquitted on two counts in Court of King’s Bench in Regina, Sask on Oct. 14
Regina, Sask. Courthouse. (Wikimedia Common)

The trial of former Smithers gymnastics coach Marcel Dubroy for alleged sexual offences in Regina, Sask. has ended with a not guilty decision.

Dubroy, 71, initially faced five charges, which stemmed from a complaint lodged by a now 34-year-old woman who he coached in Regina between 2002 and 2008.

At trial in June, 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 in June, she recounted an escalating series of inappropriate incidents culminating with unwanted sex after she turned 18.

On 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 was then adjourned until September to allow a second defence witness to testify in person. Three of the five charges were stayed by the Crown in September leaving one count of sexual exploitation and one count of sexual assault for Saskatchewan Court of King’s Bench Justice Fred Kovach to consider.

On Oct. 14 the judge rendered his decision that Dubroy was not guilty finding the defendant to be a credible witness and that the Crown had not met the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

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.”

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

“While we don’t have any other reports that I know of, we anticipate that there may 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 at the time.

He was never charged with any additional offences.

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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