London, Ont., police to reopen criminal probe into 2018 sex assault claims against world junior team members

·2 min read
The London Police Service in Ontario has reopened a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual assault against eight members of Team Canada's 2017-18 gold-medal-winning world junior team. (@HockeyCanada/Twitter - image credit)
The London Police Service in Ontario has reopened a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual assault against eight members of Team Canada's 2017-18 gold-medal-winning world junior team. (@HockeyCanada/Twitter - image credit)

London, Ont., police are reopening a criminal investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving some members of the 2018 world junior hockey team who attended a Hockey Canada gala, the police chief said Friday.

Chief Steve Williams said a preliminary review announced Wednesday by the London Police Service to determine if anything was missed has determined a second look at the case is merited.

"A team of investigators were assigned and have conducted a preliminary review," said an afternoon statement from Williams. "Through this review, they have determined there are further investigative opportunities available to us, and as such, the criminal investigation has been reopened to allow those opportunities to be explored."

A criminal investigation into the allegations started in June 2018 and wrapped up eight months later with no charges filed.

Williams's statement Friday also said he would welcome a review by London's Violence Against Women Community Advocacy Group of how police handled the case.

Williams said he would not speak further about the case because it's again the subject of an active investigation.

"Appropriate information will be shared once the investigation has concluded."

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Hockey Canada quietly reached an out-of-court settlement with a woman who alleged she was assaulted in a guest room at the Delta Armouries hotel in London in June 2018 by some members of the gold-medal-winning junior team.

Andrew Lupton/CBC
Andrew Lupton/CBC

The woman who made the assault allegations is now 24 years old. She was seeking $3.55 million in damages from Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and the unnamed players.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and details of the settlement have not been made public.

But since news of the settlement broke, Hockey Canada has had its federal funding frozen with the government, saying it would only be reinstated once it discloses recommendations contained in an incomplete report by a third-party law firm hired to investigate the alleged incident four years ago.

On Monday, it was revealed an affidavit filed in an Ontario court case suggests Hockey Canada has maintained a fund to pay for uninsured liabilities, including sexual abuse claims.

Hockey Canada also announced as part of an open letter to Canadians that it intends to revive a dormant third-party investigation into the alleged sexual assault.

WATCH | Pressure mounts to change hockey culture amid new assault allegations:

 

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting