The defence lawyer for former ski coach Bertrand Charest is seeking a four to six year-prison term for his client, who has been convicted of sexually assaulting several young female skiers.

During a hearing on the penalty phase Tuesday at the Saint-Jerome Courthouse, lawyer Antonio Cabral noted that the "sexual relations occurred under loving circumstances." That should be considered, he said.

Cabral added that his 52-year-old client is "on the road to rehabilitation" and is aware he has a problem.

The Crown is seeking a 12-year sentence, saying the sentence should serve as a deterrent.

At the end of the hearing, a weeping Charest told the court he is "profoundly sorry for the wrongs" he caused his victims.

He said he "never intended to hurt them."

The judge will render a decision in December.

Charest has been detained since his arrest nearly three years ago. He faces a maximum of 14 years in prison.

He initially faced 57 charges involcving 12 victims. Judge Sylvain Lepine acquitted him of 18 charges, ruling there was insufficient evidence, and thus reducing the number of victims to nine. Two other charges were dismissed because they involved events that occurred out of the country.

The crimes were committed in the 1990s when the victims were 12- to 19-years-old.