Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

SARNIA, Ont. — A former high-ranking gymnastics coach accused of sexual assault told his trial Thursday that when he apologized to his accuser for “crossing the line,” he wasn’t referring to any sexual transgressions.

Dave Brubaker said he wrote a letter expressing his regret to a former trainee because he had gone beyond the bounds of a typical coach-athlete relationship by driving her to practice and taking her on family outings, among other things — but he insisted none of his behaviour was sexual.

Brubaker, once the director of the women’s national gymnastics team, has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching at his judge-alone trial in Sarnia, Ont. The charges relate to alleged incidents between 2000 and 2007.

“Boundary transgressions in sport are very clear,” Brubaker said as he testified in his own defence, explaining that he’s taken courses in the matter. “You do not drive a kid to school, you don’t contact them outside of the gym, you don’t contact them on social media.”

The complainant, who is now in her 30s, has testified that Brubaker would pick her up from school and take her to his house, where he would occasionally spoon her in bed and tickle her belly before driving her to practice.

Brubaker denied the allegations, saying there wouldn’t have been an opportunity to lie in bed with the complainant because his wife was usually at home when he brought the then-teen to their house.

“It never happened,” he said.

He said that when he wrote the letter containing his apology — a note written when he was being questioned by police — he was referring not to sexual misdeeds but to the family-like role he took on in the complainant’s life.

Brubaker said he felt compelled to write the letter by the police officer who was interviewing him at the time.

“(The officer) told me what to say. He told me what to write,” he said.

Video of Brubaker’s police interview was allowed into evidence on Thursday. Its admissibility had been called into question when court heard that the police officer questioning Brubaker, who was the only officer investigating the case, was related to the complainant by marriage.

The complainant also testified that Brubaker would kiss her on the lips to say hello and goodbye.

Just Posted

Cool summer, wet fall challenging farmers’ harvest timbetables

Farmers would love to see several weeks of warm, windy weather

History: Red Deer area has been leaning right for 80 years

Red Deer has been conservative country for generations. It’s been that way… Continue reading

Rezoning approved for contentious Pine Lake residential project

About a dozen residents express concerns about project to council

‘Life can be amazing if you let it,’ says Red Deer DJ who quit drugs

Tyler Cater went from being suicidal to touring the country with rapper Merkules

Sylvan Lake man accused of killing his wife

Satnam Singh Sandhu charged with second-degree murder after wife died in hospital on Saturday

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Comparing streaks of sub-70 rounds for Hovland, Estes

Viktor Hovland tied the PGA Tour record on Sunday at The Greenbrier… Continue reading

Court denies Canadian bobsled pilot Kaillie Humphries’ request for injunction

CALGARY — Bobsled’s governing body in Canada still wants Kaillie Humphries to… Continue reading

Kaillie Humphries still seeking to slide for USA Bobsled

Bobsledder Kaillie Humphries is not dropping her plans to slide for USA… Continue reading

Former Canopy co-CEO Bruce Linton sees big opportunity in psychedelics

Canopy Growth Corp.’s co-founder and recently ousted co-chief executive has his eye… Continue reading

Outspoken Imperial Oil CEO Rich Kruger stepping down later this year

CALGARY — One of the oilpatch’s most outspoken critics of Canadian federal… Continue reading

You can pay your property taxes with Bitcoin in certain places (if you want to)

Residents in a handful of Canadian municipalities have a new, if risky,… Continue reading

Report finds immigrant wage gap costing Canada $50 billion a year in GDP

The growing wage gap between immigrants and Canadian-born workers has hit a… Continue reading

Most Read