Former gymnastics coach Dave Brubaker, right, leaves the court house in Sarnia, Ont., Tuesday, October 23, 2018 following the first day of testimony in his sexual assault trial. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins

Sexual assault trial for former gymnastics coach continues

Dave Brubaker, who was formerly director of the women’s national gymnastics team, has pleaded not guilty.

In a letter written shortly after his arrest, a former gymnastics coach accused of sexually assaulting a young gymnast years ago apologized for “crossing the line” but insisted his actions were not sexually motivated.

Dave Brubaker penned the letter to the complainant, now a woman in her 30s, during a videotaped interview with police that was played at his sexual assault trial in Sarnia, Ont., on Wednesday.

“I have reflected on all the things uncovered … in the social media and the Me Too campaign,” he said in the letter that was also addressed to his wife and another gymnast. “I am guilty of crossing the line, but I want you all to know that my intentions were not sexual or premeditated.”

Brubaker, who was formerly 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. The charges relate to alleged incidents between 2000 and 2007.

The judge presiding over the case is considering whether to allow Brubaker’s interview into evidence after court heard that the interviewing officer is related to the complainant.

Related: Ontario gymnastics coach accused of sexual misconduct also coached in B.C., group says

Related: Ex Kelowna gymnastics coach sentenced for child porn

Brubaker said in the police interview that since the complainant left the sport at 19, people’s expectations and standards of behaviour have changed.

“After (the complainant) stopped gymnastics and (another gymnast) went to university, we kind of reflected on a lot of things and we knew that we couldn’t carry on and we had to make changes,” he said in the interview. “Not just us but the whole sport.”

The woman has testified that Brubaker would kiss her on the lips to say hello and goodbye starting when she was 12 years old, and touch her inappropriately during sports massages.

Brubaker said he thought he was being a supportive coach at the time.

“I thought I was doing the right thing to help them,” he said in the police interview, denying his intent was sexual. ”I can see that by today’s measures it’s different.”

The complainant also said Brubaker would pick her up from school, and take her to his house where he occasionally would spoon her in bed and tickle her belly, before driving her to practice

Brubaker told the officer that he didn’t remember doing that.

In the police interview, Brubaker also distanced himself from other prominent men in the world of gymnastics who face allegations of sexual assault or misconduct, mentioning Larry Nassar, a former U.S. sports doctor sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison after being accused of sexually abusing hundreds of girls.

“I just don’t want to be painted with that same brush, because I don’t have those same intentions,” Brubaker said.

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Harrison officials carefully monitoring E.coli levels in lagoon

Levels testing unusually high for this time of year, officials say

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

Flock on vacation

The sun sets over Harrison and its feathered residents

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe comapaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Most Read