Bertrand Charest is seen on a court drawing during a bail hearing, on March 16, 2015 in St-Jerome, Que. (Mike McLaughlin/The Canadian Press)

Three victims of ex-ski coach Bertrand Charest suing Alpine Canada

The victims are also seeking $150,000 each in punitive damages

Three sexual assault victims of former ski coach Bertrand Charest are suing Alpine Canada, alleging the sports federation turned a blind eye to signs of wrongdoing.

The three women are former Canadian skiers Genevieve Simard, Gail Kelly and Anna Prchal, who were all minors at the time of the offences for which Charest was convicted in June 2017.

They are each seeking $300,000 in damages for psychological, physical and sexual abuse they suffered. They are also seeking $150,000 each in punitive damages.

The lawsuit was filed today at the Montreal courthouse and has not been tested in court.

The suit argues Alpine Canada did not take even the most basic steps to prevent the abuse, alleging the organization ignored evidence to protect itself without worrying about the safety of its young athletes.

Charest was sentenced to 12 years in prison for sex crimes. He is appealing his sentence.

The Canadian Press

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