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Canada Former ski coach Bertrand Charest seeks to have sexual-assault sentence reduced

Former national ski coach Bertrand Charest is seeking to have his sexual-assault sentence reduced by at least half.

In a recent filing with Quebec’s Court of Appeal, Charest’s lawyers argue the 12-year sentence he received last December should be cut to between four and six years.

Charest’s lawyers say some acts like kissing were inappropriate but less invasive than other acts for which he was found guilty. The less invasive acts were nonetheless treated harshly by the judge at sentencing, they say.

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Charest was found guilty in June 2017 of 37 of the 57 sex-related charges he faced involving nine of the 12 women who had accused him of crimes that occurred more than 20 years ago.

The women were between the ages of 12 and 19, and he was overseeing their careers.

In the case of the three other women, he was either acquitted or the charges were dropped because of jurisdictional issues.

He had sexual relations with four of the victims and one became pregnant, with Charest taking her to have an abortion.

Several victims went to court this year to have their identities revealed so they could speak publicly about the abuse they suffered.

Charest’s lawyers were also critical of the judge for citing an absence of remorse and denial of responsibility as aggravating factors.

The trial judge was skeptical about Charest’s expressed remorse, but his legal team argues in the document he can’t be blamed for defending himself and maintaining his version of what happened.

Charest, who has been behind bars since his arrest in 2015, is also appealing the convictions.

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