Gymnastics coach in Ottawa and Kingston facing sexual assault charges

A coach with Gymnastics Ontario is facing sexual assault charges in connection to alleged incidents that occurred in the Ottawa and Kingston area over an eight-year period.

Ottawa police say an investigation was launched last April, and the alleged offences occurred between 2014 and 2022 involving seven girls between the ages of 14 and 17.

“Sexual offences took place in the course of his coaching duties and after hours, and incidents occurred into 2022,” police said in a statement.

Police say the accused was employed by Gymnastics Ontario from 2014 to 2022, working in Kingston and Ottawa.

With the assistance of Toronto police, 27-year-old Benjamin Cooper of Toronto, was arrested Wednesday morning.

Cooper is facing six counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference with a person under 16 years of age, three counts of invitation to sexual touching under the age of 16, three counts of unlawful possession of child pornography, five counts of sexual exploitation, and one count of harassment by repeated communication with a person.

Police are concerned there may be more victims in the Ottawa and Kingston areas.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944.

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