soccer

Ex-Vancouver Whitecaps women’s coach facing sex assault charges

Robert Steven Birarda charged with sexual exploitation, sexual assault, child luring

A former coach with both the Vancouver Whitecaps and Canada’s national women’s soccer program has been charged with “several sexual offences against four separate individuals.”

Robert Steven Birarda is facing charges that include six counts of sexual exploitation, two counts of sexual assault and one count of child luring, BC Prosecution Service communications counsel Dan McLaughlin confirmed Thursday.

The offences are alleged to have “generally occurred” between Jan. 1, 1988 and March 25, 2008 at or near North Vancouver, Burnaby and West Vancouver.

Birarda appeared in North Vancouver Provincial Court yesterday (Dec. 9), and is next scheduled to appear on Jan. 28, 2021.

Birarda is a former women’s coach with the Whitecaps organization and also coached with Canada Soccer. He later coached in Surrey with Coastal FC.

The alleged offences pre-date his time with Coastal FC. Coastal FC suspended Birarda in February of 2019 after the allegations were brought to light.



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