A former Saanich diving coach has been arrested in Edmonton and is charged with two counts sexual exploitation, after a Greater Victoria teenager came forward claiming he was victimized by his former coach.
The Edmonton Police Service arrested 43-year-old Trevor Palmatier on Wednesday on outstanding warrants from the Saanich police. He is expected to be transferred to Saanich in the coming days.
“We received information back in March of this year relating to historical sexual related allegations involving Mr. Palmatier, who was a dive coach,” said Saanich police Sgt. Steve Eassie. “So far we’ve have two complainants who’ve come forward, both of whom are previous athletes of his.”
The incidents are alleged to have taken place between 2004 and 2006 while Palmatier worked at Boardworks Diving, based out of Saanich Commonwealth Place.
According to the EPS, detectives believe “the man is believed to have developed close personal relationships with his athletes while in his position as a diving coach.”
He currently faces two counts of sexual exploitation and one count of procuring.
“He may have provided gifts or some sort of benefit to the youth involved to provide him with a sexual service,” Eassie said.
According to Palmatier’s biography on the Edmonton Diving Academy website, he began Boardworks Diving in Saanich in 1996. He left coaching there in 2007. He moved to Edmonton and began coaching in Alberta in 2008. Palmatier was named Coach of the Year by Sport B.C. in 2006.
A statement from Diving Plongeon Canada COO Penny Joyce released Thursday afternoon reads: ” Clearly, this is very unsettling news for the diving community and we understand that many members will be very upset. The charges, which have yet to be proven in court, remind us of the paramount importance of ensuring the well-being of our athletes. Nothing is more important and we take very seriously the responsibility of their safety and protection while in our care.”
Joyce confirmed Palmatier has been suspended from diving-related activities since March.
Eassie said police are encouraging anyone with information to come forward and speak with investigators by calling 250-475-4321.