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.

Just Posted

Gathering in Salmon Arm to offer support, resources after shooting

Agencies join to provide practical assistance from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23 at rec centre

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

Have your say on proposed ban of single use plastic bags

Salmon Arm to hold public information session on bylaw this Tuesday, April 23

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Vernon photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Fire near Vernon airport “not a concern”

Vernon firefighters attended the scene and found a resident performing a controlled burn

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

B.C. women make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

Most Read