'I did not sexually assault her': Former Canuck Virtanen denies charge in testimony

·1 min read

VANCOUVER — Former Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen says a woman who has accused him of sexual assault was an "active, equal and enthusiastic" participant in a sexual encounter nearly five years ago.

Defence lawyer Colleen Elden continued questioning Virtanen in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday, asking him whether he sexually assaulted the woman at his hotel room in downtown Vancouver in September 2017.

Virtanen replied that he "did not sexually assault her."

Virtanen, 25, was charged with one count of sexual assault in January following an investigation by Vancouver police.

The woman, whose identity is covered by a publication ban, has testified that she repeatedly said no before the alleged assault.

The Canucks placed Virtanen on leave in May 2021 after the assault allegation was made public, and then bought out his contract the following month. He last played in the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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