BC football coach Bob Birard’s sentencing hearing to resume in the fall

A provincial court judge has confirmed that the sentencing hearing for the former Canada Soccer and Vancouver Whitecaps women’s club coach who pleaded guilty to four sexual offenses involving former players will continue in September.

Lawyers for the defense and the Crown appeared before a British Columbia provincial court judge in North Vancouver on Tuesday to set a date for the continuation of Birarde’s sentencing hearing, which began last week. Now it will continue on September 2, the lawyer and the judge agreed.

On the first day of the sentencing hearing, Crown Attorney Linda Ostry detailed the statement of facts that the defense agreed to as part of Birrard’s guilty plea to four of the 10 charges he initially faced. She asked Judge Dina Ghaffar to sentence Birrard to two years in prison without a day plus three years of probation.

The defense has not yet submitted their request for sentencing.

In February, Birarda pleaded guilty to

three allegations of sexual assault and one allegation of sexual touching against four women from 1989 to 2008.

All of them were teenagers at the time of the offenses and played for the football teams that Birarda worked on the coaching staff.

According to the agreed factual statement, in all four cases, Birrarda befriended his victims, offering them advice and guidance as players, but developed a closer relationship over time. He asked them about their school, boyfriends and what they do in their spare time.

All four victims considered Birarda a prominent and important coach and felt trapped by his advances. He was 21 years old at the beginning of the time period covered by the first violation, 39 years old at the beginning of the time period of the fourth violation.

He ended up telling them that he loved them and spoke in more sexually explicit terms, both in person and on the phone.

All four women said they found it very difficult to get him to stop his behavior, which led to him kissing them and engaging in sexual intercourse, including intercourse on one occasion.

“You didn’t get a chance to tell him to back off because that would have affected your career,” one of the victims told investigators Ostry.

Another victim told investigators she was “stuck on the remnants of those meetings.”

Birrarda was fired from his positions with Canada Soccer and the Whitecaps in 2008 following complaints from players from both teams, but he was not banned from coaching and continued to coach younger players until early 2019 when allegations of foul play emerged.

were publicly made by women who played for the Canadian under-20 team when he was still coaching a decade ago.

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