Trial begins for Jake Virtanen, former Canucks forward charged with sexual assault

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VANCOUVER — The trial for a former Canucks forward accused of sexual assault has begun in Vancouver.

Jake Virtanen was in B.C. Supreme Court as Justice Catherine Wedge gave instructions to the 12-member jury on Monday.

Virtanen, a 25-year-old native of Abbotsford, B.C., was charged with one count of sexual assault in January following a police investigation into an incident that took place on Sept. 26, 2017, when Virtanen was playing for the Canucks.

Vancouver police launched the investigation in May 2021 after a 23-year-old woman filed a complaint.

The Canucks placed Virtanen on leave the same month and his contract was bought out in June 2021.

He last played for Spartak Moscow in the Russian-based KHL and is not in custody.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 18, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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