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Jan 30, 2024 6:24 pm

NHLers charged with sexual assault, will plead not guilty

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart, Calgary Flames forward Dillon Dube and New Jersey Devils forward Michael McLeod have been charged with sexual assault in London, Ontario, and will plead not guilty, their attorneys said Tuesday.

The charges stem from an investigation into an alleged sexual assault that occurred in June 2018 involving members of Canada’s World Junior hockey team.

One player, Alex Formenton, turned himself in to police on Sunday. Formenton played parts of four seasons in the NHL and left his current team in Switzerland to return to Canada.

TSN reported earlier Tuesday that Hart, Dube, McLeod and Devils defenseman Cal Foote were ordered to surrender to London police to be charged. All four players recently were granted a leave of absence by their NHL teams.

“We act for Carter Hart and confirm he has been charged with one count of sexual assault,” law firm Savard Foy LLP posted on X, formerly Twitter. “He is innocent and will provide a full response to this false allegation in the proper forum, a court of law.”

“Mr. McLeod denies any criminal wrongdoing,” McLeod’s attorneys said in a statement. “He will be pleading not guilty and will vigorously defend the case. None of the evidence has been presented, let alone tested in court.”

“The London Police Service have charged Mr. Dube with sexual assault,” Dube’s attorneys said. “He will plead not guilty and maintains his innocence. He will defend the allegations in court.”

London police have scheduled a news conference on Feb. 5 to address the case.

TSN reported in May 2022 that a woman identified only by her initials in court documents settled a $3.55 million lawsuit she had filed against Hockey Canada and other defendants, including eight unnamed players.

The woman reported that the alleged assault took place in a London hotel room in June 2018 after a Hockey Canada Foundation fundraiser.

After news of the settlement, Canada’s Parliament convened committee hearings to learn more about the case and as details emerged, sponsors fled and several board members and top executives of Hockey Canada were removed. London police later reopened the investigation amid public outcry.

–Field Level Media

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