VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Former Vancouver Whitecaps and Soccer Canada coach Bob Birarda was sentenced Wednesday to over a year in jail after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual touching involving teens.
Provincial court judge Deanne Gaffar said Birarda “immeasurably harmed” and violated the sexual integrity of four “youthful” soccer players, three of whom were under 18 years old at the time of the offenses.
Birarda, 55, was sentenced to nearly 16 months in jail and eight months served in the community under conditions that have not yet been disclosed.
Gaffar said Birarda abused his position of trust with the victims between 1988 and 2008. She said they feared rejecting his interest in them would harm their soccer careers.
Birarda pleaded guilty in February to three counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual touching.
He apologized at his sentencing to the victims and his family.
Birarda was the women’s coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Canadian national youth soccer teams.
The Associated Press