Prominent hockey coach charged with sexual assault on student
By Salim Jiwa
NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. – (Updated) Police are asking for additional help from young people who may have been in touch with Dusan Benicky during his long career as a hockey coach after he was charged with seven counts related to sexual assault.
Benicky, 56, who rubbed shoulders with celebrities such as Wayne Gretzky and Pat Quinn, was charged after a person came forward to complain that as a child, assaults were allegedly committed by Bennicky during a four-year period starting in 1991.
Benicky worked with major hockey stars, including, Peter Bondra, Bret Hedican, Pavel Bure, Igor Larionov, Claude Lemieux, Markus Naslund, Jyrki Lumme, Jiri Slegr, Tomas Vokoun, Martin Straka, Jaromir Jagr, Miroslav Satan, Vladimir Orszagh, Marian Gaborik, Pavel Demitra, Ziggy Palffy, Mike Peca, Trevor Linden, Mike Modano, Zdeno Chara and Thomas Gradin.
The person was a child aged 10 at the time. The alleged sexual contact stopped when the child reached the age of 14, police spokeswoman Cpl. Marlene Morton said after seven charges were laid against the owner of North Vancouver-based Hockey Performance Centre.
Benicky was charged with 7 counts of sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and sexual assault.
The accused child-molester shows off pictures of himself with Wayne Gretzky and Pat Quinn, on his business website.
“Mr. Benicky was the hockey coach of the victim who was 10 when these alleged crimes began in 1991. They continued for a 4 year period and stopped in 1995 when the victim was 14,” said Morton.
“At this time the North Vancouver RCMP is asking for any other victims, or persons with information on this case, to please call Sgt. Jeanette Theisen of the North Vancouver Sex Crimes Unit,” said Morton, in an appeal to other person to come forward with information.
“It is never too late to report a sexual assault to the police. We understand that many victims of sex crimes feel intense shame about what has happened to them. No matter where or when these crimes took place they will be thoroughly investigated and we will provide services for the victims.” said Theisen.
Morton said in an interview it is not uncommon for sexual assault victims to come forward after many years, in this case it was 18 years since the alleged incidents began.
“Our victim has not indicated there was anyone else beside this child, but generally in these cases there is more than one victim,” she said. “We understand the shame that victims feel, and we understand that but we have nothing to indicate at this time that there are more victims.”
“It too our victim that long to find the strength to come forward,” she said. “The victim told our investigator I don’t want anyone else to go through this, this is what the victim said.”
According to the website of the Hockey Performance Centre, Benicky has been a prominent coach and has worked with numerous professionals.
During 1985-1996 he worked under Pat Quinn, George McPhee and Brian Burke with Vancouver Canucks in the field of NHL Physiological Profiling & Conditioning. He also worked with the 1996 Slovakia World Cup team.
He was personal coach to Jiri Slegr of the Czech National Team in 1998 during the Nagano Olympics.
“1998 to 2002 Slovak Hockey Federation, Strength and Conditioning coach, Exercise Physiologist & NHL Players Analyst, World Championships Winnipeg Canada under 20 – 1999 – Bronze Medal, Russia, St. Petersburg 2000 – Silver Medal, Germany 2001, Salt Lake City Olympics 2002,” he said in outlines of his achievements.
“Worked with following players: Peter Bondra, Bret Hedican, Pavel Bure, Igor Larionov, Claude Lemieux, Markus Naslund, Jyrki Lumme, Jiri Slegr, Tomas Vokoun, Martin Straka, Jaromir Jagr, Miroslav Satan, Vladimir Orszagh, Marian Gaborik, Pavel Demitra, Ziggy Palffy, Mike Peca, Trevor Linden, Mike Modano, Zdeno Chara, Thomas Gradin and more,” he adds on his profile.
He goes on to say he worked with “following coaches and hockey experts: Pat Quinn, Jan Filc, Marc Crawford, Dean Evason, George McPhee, Jan Starsi, Ladislav Horsky, Jozef Golonka, Anatoli Tarasov, Bob McCamonn, Vladimir Bure, and Peter Stastny.”
NOTE: A ban on publication of the gender of the victim precludes us from saying whether it was a boy or a girl who is claiming to have been assaulted.
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