We now know the identities of the five players from Canada’s 2018 youth team who were ordered by police to surrender in court in London, Ontario, following an alleged gang rape committed five and a half years earlier.
In addition to Alex Formenton, whose name has been known since Sunday, there are Carter Hart, Michael McLeod, Dillon Dube and Cal Foote.
The last four play in the National Hockey League. Their respective attorneys confirmed Tuesday that they have been charged in connection with the case, after sports outlet TSN revealed the information earlier that day. They will all plead not guilty, representatives of the hockey players said.
Formenton’s main lawyer, Daniel Brown, had already indicated on Sunday that the winger, who now plays for a Swiss team, had been charged by Ontario police. “He will vigorously defend his innocence,” he stressed.
The accusations against these five players have not yet been proven in court.
On January 24, the Globe and mail had reported that five players had been summoned by law enforcement to face sexual assault charges. All of them had been granted “indefinite leave” from their respective teams. Michael McLeod and Cal Foote play for the New Jersey Devils. Dillon Dube is a forward for the Calgary Flames, while Carter Hart is a goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers.
An alleged assault committed in 2018
The alleged events, which date back to 2018, supposedly occurred after a Hockey Canada fundraising gala. Hockey players allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in a London hotel room.
The alleged victim filed a lawsuit against Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and eight players in the spring of 2022. He claims to have first consented to having sexual relations with a player, not knowing that seven of his teammates would then burst into the room to attack him and silence it. These accusations, refuted by the lawyers of some of the players involved, have never been proven in court.
However, the story engulfed Hockey Canada in a major storm after network TSN revealed that the organization had attempted to keep the matter secret by paying compensation to the whistleblower. Outrage from coast to coast convinced London police to reopen the investigation, after first closing the case in 2019 without bringing charges.
With the Canadian press and Sébastien Tanguay