The director of Canada’s national women’s gymnastics team, David Brubaker, was charged last Friday with 10 counts of sexual offenses spanning eight years, all concerning a gymnast who was younger than 16 for part of that time period. According to the Sarnia Observer, Brubaker faces one charge of invitation to sexual touching, and three charges each of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual interference.
Brubaker was the national team’s coach at both the 2016 Rio Olymipics and the women’s national team director at the recent world championships in Montreal; in addition to his work with the national team, Brubaker was the director at the Bluewater Gymnastics Club, a children’s gymnastics training center located in Sarnia, for over 30 years. The club placed him on unpaid leave and banned him from the premises once the charges were made public, though per the Observer parents were not immediately notified.
Both Brubaker and police declined to comment on the charges to any of the local papers, leaving it unclear whether Brubaker’s actions were tied to the gymnasts he coached or other minors in the Sarnia community. His arrest and suspension follows that of fellow ex-Gymnastics Canada coach Michel Arsenault, who was suspended by the association Dec. 7 after he was accused of sexually abusing three former students who were reportedly 14 and 15 at the time, in Quebec during the 1980s and 1990s.
Gymnastic Canada reportedly notified all of their gymnasts and are in the process of setting up a support line for them sometime this week. Richard Crepin, the association’s board chair, released the following statement in response to Brubaker’s suspension:
“Sport should be a safe place for everyone, and we’re working hard to ensure that we have the policies and procedures, as well as the education and resources in place, to ensure the safety of all of our participants.”
Following his Friday arrest, Brubaker was released on bail, with the stipulations that he remain at home and cease all contact with the complainant as well as 22 other unnamed people. Brubaker will next appear in court on Feb. 6.