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High-profile Canadian pairs skating coach guilty of sex assault, gross indecency

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skating coach guilty of sex assault

A renowned ex-coach in Canadian pairs skating was found guilty Wednesday of sexual assault and gross indecency dating back nearly 40 years.

Richard Gauthier was on trial on three charges in connection with crimes he committed in the 1980s involving a teenage male skater whom he trained.

Gauthier, 61, was found guilty on two charges, in a ruling rendered in Montreal by Quebec court Judge Josée Bélanger. He was acquitted of a third count of indecent assault against the victim, whose identity is covered by a publication ban.

“The evidence demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused’s conduct caused the plaintiff serious harm,” the judge wrote in a 49-page ruling.

The victim was 14 at the time of the incidents while Gauthier was in his 20s. Gauthier coached him for about six years, until the victim turned 18.

Gauthier was accused of having bathed naked with the victim, taken showers with him and spooned naked with him in a bed at the accused’s residence.

“These are sexual gestures made by the accused toward the athlete he was training, whom the latter loved, and toward whom he had great admiration,” Bélanger ruled. “As the complainant’s testimony pointed out, due to the behaviour of the accused, he suffered serious psychological harm. This prejudice is high.”

The judge did not believe the version of events of Gauthier, who was charged in 2020.

“Not only is the accused not credible, but his testimony is also unreliable. It contains certain additions, flagrant contradictions, and evolves over the questions asked in cross-examination,” the judge ruled.

Prosecutor Amélie Rivard told reporters she was hopeful the verdict will send a message to survivors that time doesn’t erase criminal actions. She said she hoped the ruling encourages victims of sexual assault to come forward.

The case will return to court next month.

In a statement Wednesday, Skate Canada said Gauthier “has been permanently expelled” from the national governing body for figure skating.

Gauthier had been suspended from the organization since Oct. 2, 2020, after it received confirmation of the criminal charges against him.

“Permanently expelled individual’s rights and privileges as a member of Skate Canada have been revoked, and application for reinstatement is not permitted,” the governing body said in a statement Wednesday.

Gauthier has a lengthy track record of coaching world-class skaters. He was inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame as a coach in 2015.

According to an entry on Skate Canada’s website, Gauthier was described as having “the golden touch” in pairs skating, and as being “one of the most respected pair coaches in the world for the better part of three decades.” The entry noted that Gauthier wanted his legacy to be his coaching record.

The organization said Wednesday it is committed to “providing an environment where everyone can experience the joy of skating in a safe and healthy manner.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2023.

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Tiger Woods had a tough opening round at The 152nd Open Championship

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Tiger Woods encountered difficulties during the opening round of The 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon, finishing with an 8-over-par 79. Despite a promising beginning, including a birdie on the third hole, Woods struggled to find consistency throughout the round. His iron play and putting were particularly problematic, contributing to a series of bogeys and double bogeys.

Woods’ performance saw him slightly above average off the tee and around the green. However, he lost over two strokes to the field in both approach play and putting, ranking near the bottom in these categories. This marks a significant challenge for the 15-time major champion, especially considering the competitive field and the demanding conditions at Royal Troon.

Reflecting on his round, Woods admitted, “I didn’t do a lot of things right today. I didn’t hit my irons very close, and I didn’t give myself a whole lot of looks today. I need to shoot something in the mid-60s tomorrow to get something going on the weekend.” He emphasized the need for a strong performance on Friday to make the cut and remain in contention.

Woods, 48, has shown determination and resilience, competing in all four majors this year for the first time since his serious car accident in 2021. Despite physical limitations, he believes he can still contend for major titles under the right conditions. His performance on Thursday puts him in a challenging position, requiring a significant turnaround in the second round to stay in the tournament.

As Woods prepares for Friday’s round, his focus remains on improving his game and making the cut. Fans and analysts alike will be watching to see if he can achieve the remarkable recovery needed to advance and compete over the weekend. Woods’ journey at The 152nd Open Championship continues to be a testament to his enduring skill and competitive spirit.

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NBA Returns to Montreal with Raptors vs. Wizards Pre-Season Game

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Montreal, QC – The NBA is set to make an exciting return to Montreal. The league announced on Thursday that the Toronto Raptors will face off against the Washington Wizards at the Bell Centre on October 6, marking the 10th edition of the NBA Canada Series.

This annual series has featured 15 teams playing 18 pre-season games across six Canadian cities. Notably, this will be the eighth NBA Canada Series game in Montreal, the highest for any city outside the Raptors’ usual home in Toronto.

Last year, Montreal fans witnessed the Detroit Pistons take on the Oklahoma City Thunder, featuring Canadians Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort. The Raptors’ previous game in Montreal was in 2022.

This year’s game will be particularly special as it will showcase several Canadian players. Montreal natives Chris Boucher and Quincy Guerrier are both on the Raptors’ training camp roster. Additionally, Kelly Olynyk and RJ Barrett, who are set to represent Canada at the upcoming Summer Olympics, are also expected to play for the Raptors.

The Wizards bring their own Canadian connection with Kyshawn George, selected in this year’s NBA Draft. George, born in Switzerland, is the son of Montreal’s Deon George, a former member of Canada’s men’s basketball team.

The October 6 game will cap off the Raptors’ Montreal-based training camp, promising an exciting end to their preparations.

For more updates and coverage on the NBA Canada Series, visit Canada News Media

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Fafa Picault Leads Vancouver Whitecaps to Victory Over Sporting Kansas City

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Vancouver, BCFafa Picault emerged as the hero off the bench, scoring in the second half to secure a 2-1 victory for the Vancouver Whitecaps against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.

The Whitecaps (11-7-5) dominated the first half, with two goals being disallowed due to offside calls. Vancouver’s breakthrough came in the 34th minute when Kansas City defender Robert Valoder accidentally scored an own goal, giving the ‘Caps a 1-0 lead.

Sporting Kansas City (6-14-5) showed more vigor in the second half, equalizing in the 69th minute with a goal from Willy Agada. However, Picault’s decisive goal in the 76th minute ensured the Whitecaps extended their unbeaten streak in Major League Soccer (MLS) to five games (4-0-1).

Yohei Takaoka delivered an outstanding performance with 16 saves for Vancouver, while Tim Melia made 12 stops for Kansas City, whose three-game winning streak came to an end.

First Half Dominance

The Whitecaps were aggressive from the start, creating several early scoring opportunities. Brian White nearly scored with a header in the seventh minute, but Valoder cleared it off the goal line.

Ali Ahmed had a notable moment in the 27th minute, maneuvering past defenders to set up White for a goal that was disallowed due to offside. The Whitecaps’ pressure paid off in the 34th minute when Valoder deflected the ball into his own net, attempting to intercept a pass from Ryan Gauld to White.

Ahmed seemed poised to increase Vancouver’s lead eight minutes later, but his goal was also ruled offside. Despite these setbacks, Vancouver outshot Kansas City 9-2 in the first half.

Kansas City’s Resurgence

Sporting Kansas City made three substitutions at halftime, revitalizing their performance. Stefan Afrifa, substituting for Alenis Vargas, struck the crossbar in the 63rd minute, and Daniel Salloi’s follow-up shot was expertly saved by Takaoka.

Kansas City equalized six minutes later when Agada capitalized on a rebound after Takaoka’s save, slotting the ball into an open net.

Picault’s Winning Goal

The Whitecaps regained the lead in the 76th minute through Picault’s sixth goal of the season. Sebastian Berhalter, who replaced Ryan Raposo in the 67th minute, delivered a perfect cross to Picault, who headed it past Melia to make it 2-1.

Kansas City had a chance to level the score in injury time, but Erik Thommy’s free kick went over the bar following a foul by Mathias Laborda.

The victory solidifies the Whitecaps’ position as a formidable team in the MLS, with Picault’s performance highlighting their depth and resilience.

Stay tuned for more updates and coverage on the Vancouver Whitecaps at Canada News Media.

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