No decision yet about whether Charest will testify at his sex assault trial

No decision on whether Charest will take stand

SAINT-JEROME, Que. — Lawyers for former ski coach Bertrand Charest said Thursday they still didn’t know whether he will testify at his sex assault trial.

Defence lawyer Jacky-Eric Salvant said the decision will be made over the weekend.

Salvant said he and his co-counsel will present a defence with “key witnesses,” regardless of whether Charest takes the stand.

Charest, 51, is on trial on 57 charges, including sexual assault and breach of trust, in relation to 12 complainants between the ages of 12 and 19.

The allegations date back to the 1990s, a few years before and during the time he worked for Alpine Canada’s women’s development team, between 1996 and 1998.

On Thursday, a woman who had taken the stand last week and accused Charest of inappropriate touching, returned to complete her testimony.

She had found an old journal as well as letters dating from the time she was one of his ski students, in the 1990s.

The woman told the court that when she was 15, Charest told her he loved her.

She said at the time she thought she was in love with him.

In one of the letters Charest had written her, he said he hoped she would keep their relationship secret.

The Crown is expected to present its final witness Friday when the 12th complainant testifies.

Salvant predicted that the trial, including closing arguments, will be finished by the end of next week.

The Canadian Press

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