Jury finds former Canucks forward Jake Virtanen not guilty of sexual assault

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VANCOUVER — A jury has found former Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen not guilty of sexual assault.

Virtanen wept openly when the verdict was read in B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Virtanen was charged in January with sexual assault in connection with an incident in a downtown Vancouver hotel room in September 2017.

The 25-year-old former NHL player told the court last week that the woman was an "enthusiastic participant" in the encounter.

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

Virtanen was playing right-wing for the Canucks when the allegations surfaced in May 2021. The team placed him on leave 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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