Gymnastics coach from Durham region charged with sexual assault, exploitation

OSHAWA, Ont. — A Canadian gymnastics coach has been charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation.

According to the Durham Regional Police special victims unit, an investigation commenced last month after a victim reported that they had been inappropriately touched.

Sarah Nicholson, 34, of Oshawa, Ont., has been charged with five counts of sexual assault and five counts of sexual exploitation.

Nicholson coached at a Toronto-area gymnastics club from 2005 to 2022. Police aren't releasing the name of the club to protect the identity of the complainant.

The charges, which have not been proven in court, are the latest in a string of allegations against gymnastics coaches in Canada.

A group of 500 former and current gymnasts — Gymnasts For Change — have been lobbying the federal government to help clean up their sport.

Last week, the standing committee on the status of women unanimously passed a motion to undertake a study on the safety of women and girls in sport.

The motion for the Oct. 31 public meeting was requested by four members of the committee, and comes amid calls for a federal inquiry from athletes in several embattled Canadian sports. Interviews with athletes and others will begin on Nov. 17.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2022.

The Canadian Press