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Alleged victim of Sask. hockey coach accused of sexual assault speaks in court


-- Warning, the following story contains details some readers may find disturbing:

The trial for a former Saskatchewan hockey coach accused of assault and sexual assault began in Regina on Tuesday.

Bernard "Bernie" Lynch was arrested and charged in May 2021 in connection with alleged offences committed by an adult on a male youth in Regina, in 1988.

He appeared at Court of King's Bench late Tuesday morning for the first day of his trial that is expected to last all week.

Crown prosecutor Chris White is expected to call at least two witnesses to take the stand over the next couple of days. The first witness, who began his testimony Tuesday morning, is Lynch’s alleged victim and former hockey player.

Lynch coached the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Humboldt Broncos for three seasons in the 1980s before coaching the Regina Pats in 1988-89.

He also coached in Regina's minor hockey system.

“The alleged offender held a position of authority as a hockey coach and it was through this position that he was introduced to the victim,” a May 2021 Regina police news release said.

The witness told court about an alleged incident that happened at Lynch’s apartment decades ago.

Lynch instructed him to take off his clothes, walk out onto the patio and take a sip of beer, he testified.

“I was worried. I didn’t know what was going to happen,” the alleged victim said.

Later on, Lynch suggested the two go to a movie store to rent a porno, according to the witness.

He testified they went to a nearby rental store, but he could not remember if Lynch actually rented an adult film.

When they returned to the apartment, the alleged victim said he “felt off” from the alcohol and wanted to drive himself home. In an effort to sober up, the witness said he decided to take a shower.

“He (Lynch) came in, no clothes on and got into the shower beside me,” the witness testified.

“I said, ‘what are you doing?’”

“He’s like, ‘you shower with guys at the rink,’” the witness testified.

Lynch, now 69, was initially arrested after turning himself in to police on May 1, 2021 in Devon, Alta. after being the subject of a Canada-wide warrant. He was then released with conditions.

In 2021 Hockey Canada conducted an investigation into Lynch over separate allegations brought forward in Fort Frances, Ont. where he worked for the Fort Frances Lakers of the Superior International Junior Hockey League.

Lynch denies the allegations and maintains his innocence.

“We’re here because we’re trying to determine what actually happened. The Crown has the burden of proof and he (Lynch) like every citizen has the right to his day in court and to be presumed innocent,” said Andrew Hitchcock, Lynch’s defense lawyer.

“He’s always denied what happened and is looking forward to an opportunity to clear his name.”

Hitchcock could not guarantee that Lynch would testify, but he said in the vast majority of these types of cases both parties take the stand.

The defense is expected to cross-examine the Crown’s first witness on Wednesday. Top Stories

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