Sentencing was held today for a high profile Saanich diving coach, convicted of sex crimes involving one of his former pupils.
For 10 years, Trevor Palmatier coached young divers at an elite level.
Based out of Saanich Commonwealth Pool, Palmatier played a big part in propelling young athletes to international success.
But in 2014, one of his pupils came forward with serious accusations.
Palmatier was arrested and charged with with sexual touching of a young person – accused of using his position of power to prey on a vulnerable athlete, whose parents had just divorced.
In October of last year, Palmatier was convicted of all charges, and today Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Power handed down a sentence of two years less a day – to be served in the community – plus 3 years probation.
In handing down her decision, Justice Powers focused on the fact that Palmatier abused his position of power, saying that the grooming of his victim was “almost textbook.”
In her statement, Powers said to Palmatier, “I intend to send a message to you and other offenders by giving you the maximum sentence.”
But in allowing Palmateer to serve his sentence in the community, and not behind bars, the judge said “I believe that the safety of the community is not endangered by you being in the community.”
The family of the victim did not want to comment on camera, mainly for fear of identifying the victim.
However, they told CHEK News that they are happy with the judge’s decision, mainly because Mr. Palmatier will never be able to coach kids again.
As for the length of the conditional sentence, the family says that to them, it is largely irrelevant; it’s the guilty verdict that gives them true satisfaction.
Palmateer now lives in Edmonton, where he plans on serving out his conditional sentence.