WARNING: This article contains details of sexual assault and may affect those who have experienced it or know someone affected by it.
The London Police Service (LPS) in Ontario has started an internal review of a sexual assault case involving two hockey players, one of whom continues to play for the Strathroy Jets.
Police Chief Steve Williams said in a statement Friday that the allegations are related to two incidents in March 2018, and due to media interest, he has ordered the review.
TSN reported Thursday that the complainant in this case alleged she was assaulted by a then Western University hockey player. CBC News has confirmed through court documents that a player on the team was charged with sexual assault dating back to that time.
Those charges were withdrawn, but a peace bond was issued in June 2020 requiring him not to communicate or be near the complainant, a fact Williams confirmed.
CBC News contacted the player, who declined to comment. CBC is not naming him in order to protect the identity of the complainant, who has also not been reached for comment.
The chief said charges were not laid in the second allegation of sexual assault, which involved the same complainant but a different man.
“In all sexual assault investigations, the London Police Service utilizes a victim-centred, trauma-informed approach which respects the wishes of complainants,” Williams said. “In all cases except those dealing with intimate partners, victims are given the choice as to whether they wish to proceed with charges or not.”
Latest case unrelated to London gala
This is the second time in three months that the LPS has undertaken a review of a case involving hockey players. In July, it announced it was re-examining allegations of sexual assault involving members of the 2018 world junior hockey team who attended a Hockey Canada gala in London.
That case was initially closed without charges, and has led to led to a massive re-examination of hockey culture in Canada and the subsequent resignation of the entire governing board and the chief executive officer.
The March 2018 case involves a different victim and none of the players from the junior team. The complainant told TSN that she was at the London home of the Western University player when she was sexually assaulted and then humiliated in front of his friends.
CBC News contacted King’s University College, a Western University affiliate where the player was a student, and was told no one was available to comment on “code investigations” or complaints. TSN reported the school suspended the player for 18 months and removed him from the team.
The player was not playing on Western’s team during the 2019-2020 season and there’s no indication he graduated. He has gone on to play for the Jets, who play in the Western Ontario Super Hockey League.
Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. If you’re in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.