Alberta gymnastics coach facing sexual assault charges

MONTREAL — An Alberta-based gymnastics coach is facing sexual assault charges in Montreal dating back to the 1980s and early ’90s, Quebec provincial police said Wednesday.

Michel Arsenault was arrested in Edmonton by Quebec detectives and local authorities.

A Quebec provincial police spokeswoman said an arrest warrant for Arsenault identifies six alleged female victims and that Arsenault faces seven charges, including four of assault and three of sexual assault.

Sgt. Audrey-Anne Bilodeau said the women were all between 10 and 20 at the time of the alleged crimes.

Arsenault, 56, is expected to appear in a Montreal courtroom May 24.

Police say he is free on a promise to appear in court but must respect certain conditions.

Bilodeau said all the alleged crimes detailed in the arrest warrant occurred in Montreal, and investigators have not ruled out other potential alleged victims elsewhere in the province.

Last January, Quebec provincial police informed the public of the ongoing investigation without naming a suspect.

Wednesday’s arrest comes after a report last December by the CBC’s French-language network, which brought some of the allegations to light from at least three women.

Following the Radio-Canada broadcast, Gymnastics Canada announced it had suspended Arsenault, citing the serious allegations.

Around the same time, Champions Gymnastics, the Edmonton gym founded by Arsenault in 2002, barred him from the facility and said he would no longer be associated with it.

Arsenault has been living in Alberta since 1994.

Just Posted

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

Cannabis smoke raises health concerns

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Avid Penhold climber Catlin Hannah’s death a reminder of the dangers of scrambling

Hannah never returned from his Mount Smuts attempt on Aug. 12.

Children, elderly at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

VANCOUVER — Thick smoke blanketing British Columbia communities far from any flames… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month