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Female coach faces jail for sex with girl

The Crown wants a female hockey coach to spend up to a year behind bars for sexually exploiting a 15-year-old girl in Kamloops.

At a sentencing hearing in BC Supreme Court, Crown lawyer Don Mann argued for a nine- to 12-month jail term, up to two years' probation and for the accused to be registered as a sex offender for 20 years.

Mann said sexual encounters between the coach and the teen occurred at least once a week from November 2010 to July 2011 and that both claimed they were in love.

But Michelle Stanford, the coach's lawyer, called for a three- to six-month sentence, to be served intermittently on weekends, followed by two to three years' probation.

Stanford said her client kept the relationship secret because she had not yet come out as gay.

She said the coach was not always the aggressor in the relationship, which she maintained went on for seven months, not more than a year, as the Crown contends.

Court heard the coach was a mentor to the girl, whose parents believed she had been a positive role model.

When the relationship ended the victim sought counselling and revealed the secret to her mother, who notified police.

The coach pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation and sexual interference of a person under 16.

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