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5 ex-Canadian world junior hockey players charged with sexual assault opt for jury trial | CBC News

WARNING: This article may affect those who have experienced​ ​​​sexual violence or know someone affected by it.

Five former Canadian world junior hockey players now facing sexual assault charges have chosen and been granted a jury trial, in a case relating to an alleged incident in a London, Ont., hotel room in 2018.

Dillon Dubé, Carter Hart, Michael McLeod, Cal Foote and Alex Formenton were charged last month. McLeod faces an additional charge of sexual assault for “being a party to the offence.”

In a joint statement, their lawyers said the five selected a jury trial earlier this week and are “confident that jurors drawn from the community will decide this case fairly and impartially after hearing all the evidence and testimony.”

The players are now playing professionally, but are on leave from their teams. McLeod and Foote are with the New Jersey Devils, Dubé is with the Calgary Flames and Hart is with the Philadelphia Flyers. Formenton, a former NHL player, is with a Swiss team.

It’s alleged the incident occurred in June 2018 following a Hockey Canada gala held to honour the team’s victory at the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

WATCH | London, Ont., police chief speaks on the length of time it took to lay charges: 

London, Ont., police chief apologizes to alleged sexual assault victim for delayed charges

Thai Truong, the chief of police in London, Ont., apologized to E.M. for the lengthy investigation in a sexual assault case that took place in 2018, that allegedly involved five former Canadian world junior hockey players.

The police investigation was initially closed without charges in 2019 but reopened in 2022. London’s current police chief apologized to the complainant earlier this month for the delay in laying charges.

Jury trials are available to people accused of the most serious crimes, known as indictable offences, such as murder. They may also be an option for individuals accused of what are referred to as hybrid offences, such as sexual assault.

The case is due back in court on April 30 in London. 

For anyone who has been sexually assaulted, there is support available through crisis lines and local support services via this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. ​​If you’re in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.


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