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Lawyers for five 2018 world junior hockey players confirm sexual assault charges


Lawyers for the remaining four NHL players have confirmed their clients are among the five facing sexual assault charges in connection with an incident involving members of Canada's 2018 world junior hockey team.

The four players in question are Michael McLeod and Cal Foote of the New Jersey Devils, Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers, and Dillon Dube of the Calgary Flames. Citing unnamed sources, TSN reported on Tuesday these players are expected to surrender to police before next Monday.

Last week, the Globe and Mail reported that five members of Canada's 2018 world junior hockey team will face sexual assault charges in connection to an alleged group sexual assault of a woman in a hotel room following a Hockey Canada event in June 2018.

In 2022, a woman identified as "E.M." sued Hockey Canada and eight unnamed players from the 2018 world junior team for $3.35 million, alleging she was repeatedly assaulted while intoxicated in a London, Ont., hotel room. The lawsuit was quickly settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

None of the allegations against the players have been proven in court.

Alex Formenton, who last played in the NHL for the Ottawa Senators, is believed to be the first of the five to surrender. He had taken an indefinite leave of absence from his current team, HC Ambri-Piotta in Switzerland, on Jan. 24 and turned himself in to police on Sunday. Formenton's legal counsel told CTV News on Sunday he plans to "vigorously defend his innocence."

The Calgary Flames also announced Dillon Dube had been granted an indefinite leave of absence for "mental health" reasons and said he was "under the care of health professionals." Dube had signed with the Flames on a three-year, $6.9-million contract in August 2021. On Tuesday, his lawyers told TSN he was charged with sexual assault and intends to plead not guilty.

The New Jersey Devils announced on Wednesday both McLeod and Foote "requested and (had) been granted indefinite leave of absences from the team." McLeod had signed a one-year, $1.4-million contract last summer, while Foote had been on a one-year, $800,000 contract.

McLeod's lawyers have also confirmed that he was charged with sexual assault and will plead not guilty, The Canadian Press reported on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Foote's lawyer in a statement to TSN maintained her client's innocence on Tuesday and said he will "defend himself against this allegation to clear his name."

Hart, who was on his final year of a three-year, $11.9-million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, had also been granted an indefinite leave of absence, citing "personal reasons," according to Flyers general manager Daniel Briere. Hart's legal counsel also confirmed the sexual assault charge in a statement posted to X on Tuesday, calling the allegations "false."

Police in London, Ont., are scheduled to provide an update on the case at a press conference next Monday. Top Stories

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