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Former Vernon hockey coach appeals sex assault conviction, released on bail

Keith Chase was granted bail on Monday, Oct. 31
Vernon law courts. (Black Press file photo)

Editor’s note: This is an update to the article on page B15 of this newspaper.

A Vernon businessman and former hockey coach is appealing his Friday sentencing of almost two years in jail, while also being released on bail.

Keith Chase was sentenced to 23 months jail in B.C. Supreme Court on Oct. 28.

According to court records, he filed an appeal of that sentence on the same day.

Chase was granted bail on Monday, Oct. 31.

In March, Chase was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl who was playing hockey for a team he coached. The teen was sleeping over at his house prior to a game between January and March 2004. Chase, now 55, was in his 30s at the time.

According to court documents, Chase is appealing for the conviction to be quashed and a new trial ordered.

He is arguing that the trial judge erred by failing to give proper effect to inconsistencies between the complainant’s police statement and her trial testimony.

At a sentence hearing in September, Chase’s lawyer, Nicholas Jacob, read out a series of letters by members of the community that described Chase as a “family man,” a role model for those he coached and someone with a “good character.”

Crown counsel Miho Ogi-Harris countered by arguing that Chase’s status as a family man is what allowed him access to the victim.

On Friday, in addition to the 23 months of jail time, Supreme Court Justice Gary Weatherill ruled that Chase would be put on the sex offender registry for 20 years, while subjecting him to a 10-year firearms ban and ordering him not to have any contact with the complainant.

READ MORE: Nearly 2 years jail for former Vernon hockey coach who sexually assaulted teen

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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