Five players from Canada’s gold medal–winning 2018 World Juniors team are reportedly facing sexual assault charges
The GIST: Five players from Canada’s gold medal–winning 2018 World Juniors team are reportedly facing sexual assault charges and have been ordered to surrender to authorities in London, Ontario. Disgraceful.
The background: As covered in yesterday’s episode of The GIST of It, the pending charges stem from a June 2018 incident, when a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by several members of the World Juniors team after a gala celebrating their championship win.
- Police closed their initial investigation in 2019, but reopened it in 2022 after the woman filed a $3.5M lawsuit against Hockey Canada, the sport’s national governing body.
- The woman claimed the organization knew about her alleged assault, yet failed to act. Hockey Canada quickly settled with her out of court, but further reporting revealed that the org had three slush funds for sexual assault settlements, paying out $7.6M to nine survivors (not including the 2018 case) since 1989.
The latest: No official charges have been filed, but four current NHL players and one former NHLer (all members of the 2018 World Juniors team) have been given indefinite leaves of absence from their clubs in recent days. The NHL conducted its own investigation into the matter, but has not made its findings public.
- London Police (ON) will hold a press conference on February 5th to provide updates on this evolving story.
- In the meantime, the Halifax Regional Police reminded the public that their investigation into a separate sexual assault allegation against the 2003 World Juniors team is still ongoing. When will it end?