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Brazilian curling champion pleads guilty to B.C. sex crimes involving underage victims

A youth curling coach who was a three-time Brazilian champion in the sport has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual interference, according to authorities in B.C.

Marcio Leite Cerquinho was arrested and charged in May of 2021. At that time, the New Westminster Police Department said he had been charged with three offences involving a "youth victim." The arrest prompted an appeal for information and additional victims to come forward, with police saying he used his position as a coach to gain trust.

In a statement Thursday, the NWPD said they have since identified three victims who allege they were exploited by Cerquinho, who has now pleaded guilty to two offences involving two victims.

“We take sexual offence investigations extremely seriously and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure that suspects who engage in these types of crimes are held to account before our justice system,” spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Leaver said in the media release.

Cerquinho will be sentenced in November of 2023, according to police.

In a 2021 interview with CTV News, Cerquinho denied all the allegations and vowed to fight the charges in court.

"The only thing I can say is the way they are conducting this, they are trying to create someone that I am not,” he said at the time.

Cerquinho has represented Brazil at the Mixed Doubles Curling World Championships three times and also coached the country’s team at the 2020 Youth Olympics in Switzerland, a competition for players between the ages of 15 and 18.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Ben Miljure Top Stories

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