LONDON, Ont. (AP) – The chief of police in London, Ont., acknowledged Monday that: 5 players Members of Canada's 2018 World Junior Hockey Team were charged with sexually assaulting a woman in 2018, and they have apologized to the woman for taking years to file a lawsuit.
Secretary Tai Truong said Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers, Michael McLeod and Cal Foote of the New Jersey Devils, Dillon Dube of the Calgary Flames and former NHL player Alex Formenton be charged with sexual assault. Detective Sgt. Katherine Dunn, from the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit, said the investigation, which will be reopened in 2022, found reasonable and strong grounds for charges, which could result in prison terms if convicted. He said that there is a sex.
“On behalf of London Police, I would like to sincerely apologize to the victim and her family for the length of time it has taken to get to this point,” Truong told a news conference attended by dozens of journalists. . “This shouldn't take long. It shouldn't take years to reach today's results.”
Mr McLeod is also charged with “being a party to a criminal act”, which Mr Dunn said is a charge of aiding and abetting another person's criminal act.
Lawyers for all five players participated in a video hearing early Monday. None of the players attended the courtroom, which was held in London, a city about halfway between Toronto and Detroit. The next hearing was scheduled for April 30th.
During the brief hearing, prosecutors sought and obtained orders protecting the woman's identity (standard in sexual assault cases) and two witnesses. Prosecutor Heather Donkers also said defense attorneys would receive “substantial” evidence within the next few days.
Lawyers for all 5 players The customers said they were innocent and would defend themselves against the charges. The players surrendered to London police last week.
The incident has cast a shadow over Canadian hockey for years.
the woman complained hockey canada In 2022, she claimed that she was sexually assaulted by eight members of Canada's world junior team in a hotel room after a June 2018 fundraising event in London. Hockey Canada settled the lawsuit; investigation It was revealed that the organization had two slush funds to pay settlements for sexual assault and sexual abuse claims.
London police suspended the investigation in 2019, but launched a new internal investigation in July 2022. Around the same time, the NHL also launched its own investigation, the results of which likely won't be made public until the lawsuit is resolved.
“The most responsible and prudent thing for us to do at this stage is to wait for the conclusion of the judicial process, at which point we will respond appropriately.” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. Friday of All-Star Weekend in Toronto.
The players are On indefinite leave From their team. Bettman said the league does not believe it is necessary to suspend players without pay for the remainder of the season.
Bettman said the league learned of the allegations on May 26, 2022. The NHL said it had interviewed all of the team's players, adding that the woman involved refused to participate in the investigation.
Whyno reported from Ashburn, Virginia. The Canadian Press contributed.
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