Five members of Canada's 2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Team have been asked to surrender to police in Ontario to face sexual assault charges, according to reports in Canada.
Citing two unnamed sources, the Globe and Mail In Canada, it says the charges are related to an alleged gang sexual assault of a woman in a hotel room after a Hockey Canada fundraiser in June 2018.
The players, who were honored for winning the world junior championship and have not yet been charged, were given a period of time to present themselves to London Police headquarters in Ontario.
The initial investigation was closed in 2019 without charges being filed.
In April 2022, the complainant filed a lawsuit against Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and eight unnamed players. The complainant alleged that she met some of the players at a bar after the party, and after she engaged in consensual sexual acts with one of the players at a hotel, seven other members of the team entered the room. She claims she tried to leave, was “intimidated into staying” and “subjected to further sexual assaults”.
Lawyers representing some of the players have denied any wrongdoing and TSN in Canada reported that Hockey Canada has settled the suit. A backlash ensued that led to Pascal St. Onge, Canada's Minister of Sport, freezing federal funding for Hockey Canada.
Police in London and Ontario later reopened the investigation in 2022 and applied to the Ontario Court of Justice seeking approval for various investigative procedures, stating that they had reasonable grounds to believe that five members of the 2018 team had sexually assaulted a woman.
A London Police spokesman told the newspaper: “We are unable to provide an update at this time.” Globe and Mail. “When there is more information to share regarding this investigation, we will be in contact with the media.”