“Shocked,” “surprised” and “excited” is how the Alouettes reacted to the arrest of full-back Christophe Normand over allegations of having lured a teenage girl for sexual purposes.
The 30-year-old man was arrested last Thursday at his property in Eastman, Estrie. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of luring a person under the age of 18, including one of luring a person under the age of 16 or being under the age of 16 at the time of the offence. The facts with which he is accused occurred on 9 August in the municipality of Bromont.
“I was upset,” Danny Maciocia replied when asked about his reaction upon hearing about it.
The Alouettes’ interim manager and head coach declined to comment too much on the matter, but said he had discussed the matter with his players.
“This is a conversation that will remain private. We raised the issue and it was the first thing I wanted to do when I came back from the week off,” he said Monday after coaching his family.
The president of the Alouettes, Mario Cecchini, allowed himself to be more talkative.
“It’s a really sad situation. Our thoughts go first to the young girl, this teenager, who had a lot of courage to speak out.
“The presumption of innocence applies and we understand that well,” he said afterwards. But if the police arrive at your home and everything is taken care of within two weeks, it means that the young girl who experienced it provided the police with important evidence.
On Friday, after consultation with the Canadian Football League (CFL), the “Als” suspended Normand until further notice.
In addition to the human aspects of this dirty affair, the Alouettes also have to find solutions on a sporting level.
Normand rarely touched the ball, but it was an important part of the offense in terms of defence. He was also on special teams.
“We can play with two ball carriers or use a bigger receiver, like Régis Cibasu. We can also use a sixth offensive lineman. We have to be creative,” Maciocia said.
“He [Normand] was involved in about 10% of our offensive games,” said running backs coach André Bolduc. We will replace it with items we have at the moment.”
The one who also wears the assistant head coach’s hat also said offensive lineman Pier-Olivier Lestage and wide receiver Tyson Philpot will be among those who will take on more responsibility.
Additionally, Maciocia revealed he has yet to take any steps to secure a new centre-back and has no plans to do so until Friday night’s clash against the Rouge and Ottawa Black.
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