Allegations of sexual aggression | Hockey Canada is a quick piece of information

Even if Hockey Canada was only targeted in April 2022 by a lawsuit linked to an alleged sexual assault case, the organization was brought to light very quickly the alleged facts, which go back to the end of the print. 2018.

Published at 5:00 p.m.

Simon-Olivier Lorange

Simon-Olivier Lorange
La Presse

Guillaume Lefrançois

Guillaume Lefrançois
La Presse

La Presse was able to confirm, from three sources who participated in the investigation, that Hockey Canada did not expect before entrusting to a toronto law firm the mandate to conduct an independent investigation. At least one person was met less than a month after the alleged aggression, which allegedly took place in London, Ontario, on the night of June 18-19, 2018.

Or, where the nature of scabreux has persisted interne depuis près de quatre ans, Hockey Canada refused to revéler the steps ont été taken à la suite de cette enquête, conclue à un moment non précisé.

We have asked if any of the players involved in this case have recently worn the uniform on the international stage. Our question remains unanswered. A spokesperson referred us to a laconic communiqué.

Be friendly

The little world of Canadian hockey has been in shock for a few weeks. On April 20, a young woman filed a lawsuit against eight ex-players of the Canadian Hockey League (LCH), against the same league and against Hockey Canada.

Today at the age of 24, she accuses the players, some of whom have come to win the gold medal at the junior world championships with the Canadian team, of having attacked in a hotel room in the early morning.

The collective rape allegedly took place hours after a gala organized by Hockey Canada on the sidelines of its foundation’s annual golf tournament. Financial partners of the organization as well as many well -known Canadian sports personalities participate invariably at this prestigious event.

Journalist Rick Westhead, of TSN, is a leading relationship announcer. Citing the 18 -page lawsuit filed before the Ontario Superior Court in London, the city where the aggression allegedly took place, Westhead described the degrading actions to which the victim was allegedly restrained without her consent. The document, que La Presse has since acquired, neither the young woman nor her eight aggressors. The latter are named “John Doe” and are numbered from 1 to 8.

The matter was quickly settled amicably. The victim received 3.55 million dollars, not 2 million in homes that pass and in the future and 1 million in home penalties.

No details of the regulation have been filtered so far, and few additional elements of information, see none, have been published following the TSN report.

The victim had not filed a complaint with the authorities, and the London police did not confirm the existence of an investigation, either in the past or in the past. The continuation also mentions that the young woman succumbed, at the time, to pressure from defenders so that she did not denounce them.

Three weeks

Hockey Canada, immediately after the events took place, claims to have communicated with police and conducted an independent internal investigation into the Henein Hutchison LLP firm.

Until now, it has been ignored when Hockey Canada had been introduced. or so, La Presse learned that the investigation had been dismissed in recent days following the alleged aggression.

The players of the champion team were quickly summoned. At least one of them was met in person during the week of July 9, or about three weeks after the Hockey Canada gala, we confirmed a source who followed the process closely.

For many hours, they have, individually, been questioned about their implications in this case. Their can provide alibis to those lavant de tout suspçon.

Après le gala organisé par Hockey Canada, the suspects, along with coéquipiers, a sont rendus au Jack’s Yard, restaurant and bar located in the center-ville of London. Later in the night, the player identified as “John Doe 1” left the scene to drive to his hotel room with the victim. That one, lit up in the prosecution, was in a state of advanced erection.

After the two had sexual relations, the young man “invited all the other” John Doe “defenders into the room,” without notifying the victim or asking for his consent, he added.

Rigoureux

The group of players questioned as part of the investigation was much larger than that of the suspects. All those who were caught in the process therefore had to set up minute by minute, with the investigators, the thread of their evening and their night in the course of interrogation described as rigors by a person who attended to one of them.

Those who claimed to have no connection with the aggression were able to express themselves thus. Certain, for example, dormaient au moment des faits. Others simply weren’t in London for the gala.

We could not confirm whether all members of the team had been summoned or how many of them had collaborated in the investigation.

Since the prosecution identified the eight suspects as LCH players, goalkeeper Colton Point as well as defenders Cale Makar and Dante Fabbro, who were then playing among the American university teams, seem to be among the aggressors on the list. Independent journalist Ken Campbell was also set up, after communicating with agents of Jonah Gadjovich, Cal Foote and Victor Mete, that they were not in the name of “John Doe.” None of these testimonies have, well, been heard in the courts. However, Mete, a member of the Montreal Canadian organization at the time, was in Cancun, Mexico, at the time of the incident.

Team leaders were also contacted by phone by investigators, in the weeks or months following the facts. This includes Quebecs Dominique Ducharme and Joël Bouchard, head coach and general manager of the gold medal training, respectively. The two were present in London on the evening of June 18, 2018.

Toutefois, the Hockey Canada gala is substitute and the cinq mois après of Mondial junior, Bouchard’s Ducharme and the encore are in l’équipe. They had also come to be hired by the Canadian organization.

According to our information, they left the gala relatively well since they had to fly the next morning for Dallas in order to join the Tricolore direction in view of the LNH crackdown. So they have no knowledge, so far, of the acts that have been committed and the details of which have not been reported in recent weeks. Very little of their information was actually disclosed by the firm in charge of the investigation. During the interrogation, which was clearly more concise than those held with the players, the names of the suspects, in particular, were not communicated to them.

Another survey

Hockey Canada declined to respond to requests for details La Presse.

In an email, a spokesperson simply sent us the statement written online since May 26. It is pointed out in particular that no comment will be formulated and care is taken to remind that the victim “chose not to speak with the police or independent investigators of Hockey Canada”.

After the case was reported on the big day, a little over two weeks ago, LNH launched an investigation.

The vast majority of the members of the 2018 Canadian champion team are today established professional players. Ilang are already the stars of the circuit.

The Canadian government, at the initiative of Sports Minister Pascale Saint-Onge, has launched a financial audit to determine whether public money served to finance the case concluded with the victim.

Hockey Canada leaders could testify in Ottawa in the coming days. In its 2020-2021 annual report, the organization indicates that government aid represents 6 % of its funding, while 2 % provides contributions from its members, namely the provincial and territorial federations of the country.


Photo Olivier Jean, LA PRESSE archives

In the lawsuit against Hockey Canada, the organization is accused of “avoiding ignoring a culture and an environment that glorifies the sexual exploitation of young women. »

I’m not answering Hockey Canada

This is certainly one of the most intriguing questions of this out-of-court hearing between Hockey Canada and a plaintiff who accused eight players of sexual aggression: why did the national federation become the balloon bearer for a lawsuit that, basically, were gestures reproached by players?

Or so, it appears that there are more than eight players in question (identified as John Doe and numbered 1 to 8) in the pursuit, two instances were targeted: Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League (LCH), either grouping of the three junior hockey circuits in Canada. These three leagues are the Ontario Junior League (OHL), the Western Junior League (WHL) and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

In the future, that La Presse obtained, Hockey Canada and the LCH are grouped under the expression “The Hockey League”. Four points in the proceedings refer to these two instances, one of which contains 17 allegations.

Among the allegations are two organizations:

  • of “avoiding ignoring or allowing systematic and institutionalized aggression within the organization”;
  • of “having known for several years that players had been sexually aggrieved or were encouraged to commit sexual aggression”;
  • of “avoiding ignoring a culture and environment that glorifies the sexual exploitation of young women”;
  • to “have the ability to teach members what the standards of conduct are on the private and externally, specifically in their interactions with women”;
  • to “not expel John Doe from their teams, and not to impose sanctions on them”;
  • of “have not investigated the John Doe once they have been brought to light of their actions.”

The prosecution alleges that both instances proved “negligence.”

It is not unusual that such pursuits involve many elements. The burden of proof is actually lower in a civil proceeding like this than in a criminal trial. The question cannot be said to be guilty “beyond any reasonable doubt”, but rather to convince in truth of the balance of probabilities, or to show that one version is more likely than the other version.

In addition to the accusations listed above, Hockey Canada and the LCH can also avoid a certain degree of responsibility in the conduct of the players under them, we explain. This is the principle of the prepaid committant relationship. This explains that, to take a purely fictitious example, a company can be prosecuted for damage caused by its supplier in the course of its operations.

Mute the radio

There is radio silence on both sides of this affair. Hockey Canada ends by replying to emails from La Presse at the end of Friday, simply referring to the statement sent to the media on May 26, in which she said she was “troubled” by these allegations.

In the same statement, Hockey Canada claims to have attached the police authorities, which contravenes paragraph 26, paragraph n) of the prosecution, where it is stated that the accused instances “failed to report to the police the complaints received for sexual assault.” . Hockey Canada also says it avoids immediate investigations into the events, a statement corroborated by colleague Simon-Olivier Lorange.

Me Rob Talach, the lawyer for the alleged victim, also declined to answer our questions. “No comments,” he replied in an email La Presse. À Rick Westhead, of TSN, Me Talach had said his client was “satisfied” and “relieved” that the case was being concluded.

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