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Windsor Spitfires’ Ben Johnson faces sexual assault charges

Johnson was drafted by the Devils in 2012 (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)For the fourth time since 2010 the Windsor Spitfires are in the headlines for a story that involves the law and bars. It could be the most serious yet.

Left wing Ben Johnson is in custody after being charged with two counts of sexual assault on Monday. One of the incidents reportedly came during Spitifires players' year-end party on Sunday after their last game of the OHL season. There is also a second complainant.

From Claire Brownell:

Johnson, 18, was arrested early [Monday] morning after one of the alleged sexual assaults, which sources say occurred in the washroom of Mynt nightclub during a combined St. Patrick’s Day party and end of season gathering that included other players. He appeared in [Ontario] provincial court this afternoon by video and was held in custody overnight, with bail set at $30,000.

Windsor Police Sgt. Matt D’Asti said police attended the Metropolitan campus of the Windsor Regional Hospital at about 1:50 a.m. Monday and spoke with a 16-year-old girl, who told officers she had been sexually assaulted. Police then arrested the suspect in the 11000 block of Rockland Street just before 4 a.m.

D’Asti said during the course of the investigation, a second woman, aged 20, came forward. That woman told police she had also been sexually assaulted by the accused in the washroom of The Tilted Kilt at 2135 Wyandotte St. W. about three weeks ago, D’Asti said. (Windsor Star)

The nature of the alleged sexual assaults is not known and there is a publication ban on the case. It's also not known if any other complainants may come forward now that Johnson has been charged. (In these cases, police also have to determine where there's a legal basis to lay additional charges.)

Johnson is expected to be out of custody by Tuesday morning.

As noted up top, the Spitfires have been in the news before for nightlife-related incidents. Current associate coach Bob Jones ended up in court after an altercation in February 2011 outside a Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., bar where a young man's jaw was broken. The aggravated assault charge was withdrawn after both parties settled out of court. In 2010, current Vancouver Canucks right wing Zack Kassian negotiated a plea in order to avoid any criminal record after facing a charge that stemmed from a bar fight he was in one week after he helped the Spitfires win the Memorial Cup. Also in 2010, Marc Cantin, who was a defenceman on that team, had his jaw broken while trying to break up a fight on the weekend the Spitfires were presented with their championship rings.

Jones and Kassian's charges, respectively, were of a nature where it was possible to settle out of court or enter what the Ontario courts call a 'diversion' program.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

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