Former ski trainer Dominick Gauthier described as “extremely disappointing” the stay of proceedings against former gymnastics trainer Michel Arsenault, accused of sexual assault.
• Read also: Stay of proceedings in the case of ex-trainer Michel Arsenault
“I find that extremely, extremely disappointing. We know there are so many cases like these and, unfortunately, when we see endings like this, well, for sure that does not encourage other victims to speak up and lodge a complaint, ”says the co-founder of B2Dix, an organization that offers general support to athletes.
This organization had also come to the aid of the victims of Bertrand Charest, indicted in 2017 of sexual assault.
“Bertrand Charest’s stories, that [c’était] passed almost 20 years ago when the Complainants were finally right. So it is possible, but in this case, really, the justice system has failed in its task, ”said Gauthier.
This failure could have a short-term impact on the victims, thinks Dominick Gauthier, but the ex-coach recognizes all the same that there has been progress in recent years.
“We saw it recently, Minister Isabelle Charest announced a fine program of management policy for cases of abuse and harassment in sport, including things like a coach can no longer be alone with an athlete at any time , there would normally be an independent officer who would manage complaints, ”he explains.
“The problem we had at the time was that the athletes had to file a complaint with their own federation. Often, well, their federation tended to want to protect themselves, ”he adds.
Dominick Gauthier encourages victims to continue to denounce their attacker.
“It may never be perfect, except that in cases like we saw this week, in the history of coach Arsenault, it is sure that it will discourage many, and it shocks, it hurts in the heart. The investigation should almost be investigated in this case, ”he said.