Jury continues deliberations in former Canuck Virtanen's sexual assault trial

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VANCOUVER — A jury is set to resume its deliberations today in the trial of a former Vancouver Canucks forward charged with sexual assault.

The 12-person jury began discussing yesterday whether or not Jake Virtanen is guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in a downtown Vancouver hotel room nearly five years ago.

Crown and defence counsel finished their closing arguments in B.C. Supreme Court yesterday following five days of testimony, with both lawyers focusing on the reliability of the testimony given by Virtanen and the woman who has accused him of sexual assault.

Virtanen, 25, told the court last week that the woman was an "enthusiastic participant" in the encounter in September 2017.

The 23-year-old woman, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, testified that she repeatedly said "no" and told Virtanen she did not want to have sex with him.

Virtanen played right wing for the Canucks at the time of the alleged assault. The team placed him on leave when the allegations surfaced in May 2021 and bought out his contract the following month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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