Content Warning: The following article contains references to sexual assault.
Four National Hockey League players, Carter Hart, Michael McLeod, Dillon Dube and Cal Foote, turned themselves in to police in London, Ont., on sexual assault charges in connection with an incident during a Hockey Canada tournament. instructed to do so. Two sources familiar with the matter told TSN about the incident, which occurred in the city in June 2018.
The players are expected to hand themselves in before London police hold a press conference on Monday to update the public on the high-profile case.
Lawyers for the four players either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment.
London police reported this to the Globe and Mail on January 24th. instructed Five members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior Team surrender on sexual assault charges. Alex Formenton, a former Ottawa Senators player who now plays in Switzerland, filed a complaint with police to be formally charged on January 28th.
Gary Ellis, former head of Toronto police’s sex crimes unit, said in an interview with TSN that players will be photographed and fingerprinted during their initial court appearance and will sign a pledge not to have contact with the alleged victim. He said he was instructed to do so. Police or at a later date.
The five players are accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a London hotel on June 19, 2018, after a Hockey Canada Foundation golf and gala event.
The complainant, a woman referred to in court documents as EM, met some of the players at a downtown bar after the event. She alleges in her civil suit that she left a bar with a man and that she had consensual sex with him. She claimed that the man then invited other players to his room without EM’s consent and had sex with her.
None of the allegations against the players have been proven.
London police initially investigated EM’s charges, but closed the case without filing charges in February 2019 because the lead detective did not believe there was enough evidence.
In May 2022, TSN reported that Hockey Canada had filed a lawsuit against EM for $3.55 million against Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League, and eight unnamed players in connection with the alleged attack. It was reported that the two parties secretly reached a settlement without consulting the players involved. The story led to a maelstrom of congressional hearings and public backlash. The NHL and Hockey Canada have commissioned an investigation, and London police have announced they will reopen the investigation in July 2022.
In October 2022, London Police filed a 94-page document in court seeking permission to seek various court orders. In the filing, first reported by the Globe, London police officers said they had reasonable grounds to believe that five members of the 2018 world junior team committed sexual assault in connection with an incident at a hotel. I am writing that I believe there is.
The four players who have not yet filed a police report are all 25 years old and are on leave from their NHL teams.
Hart, a goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers, is in his sixth NHL season and the final year of a three-year, $11.9 million contract.
Dube, a center for the Calgary Flames, is in his sixth NHL season and in the final year of a three-year contract worth an average of $2.3 million.
McLeod, a center for the New Jersey Devils, is in his sixth season in the NHL. He signed a one-year, $1.4 million contract in July 2023.
Foote, whose father is former NHL defenseman Adam Foote, appeared in four games with the Devils this season and has also played in the American Hockey League. He signed a one-year, $800,000 contract in August.