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A trial date may soon be set in the hockey player sexual assault case

 


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The date of a long-awaited trial for five members of Canada's 2018 junior hockey team accused of sexual assault likely won't be set until at least next month.

During a brief hearing Tuesday in London's Superior Court of Justice during the monthly online scheduling court, Judge Alissa Mitchell ordered the case returned June 11 to confirm trial dates and schedule additional dates for preliminary motions.

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Some preliminary arguments in this case were scheduled for September 5 and 6 before Judge Bruce Thomas.

The September pretrial dates mark the first in-person appearances of the five accused players in a London courtroom. Until now, only their lawyers were required to attend court hearings.

Lawyer David Humphrey, who is representing one player, Michael McLeod, and speaking on behalf of the other lawyers, told Mitchell they are still discussing with the court and the Crown whether the accused will attend in person or otherwise. But yes, they will be personal appearances.

There has been a lot of activity behind the scenes. The Crown and defense have recently been involved in judicial hearings with a judge to iron out procedural issues.

Dillon Dube, 25, of the NHL's is accused of sexual assault Calgary flames; Carter Hart, 25, goaltender for the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers; McLeod, 26, and Cal Foote, 25, both of the NHL's New Jersey Devils; and Alex Formenton, 24, a former player for the London Knights and NHL Ottawa Senators who played in Switzerland this season.

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Alex Formenton; Cal Foot; Michael McLeod; Dillon Dube and Carter Hart. (Canadian Press) Photo by Matt Slocum, Noah K. Murray, Paul Sancya, Corey Sipkin /The Canadian Press

Four of the players face one charge of sexual assault. McLeod faces a second charge of assault for being a party to the crime.

All players are on leave from their hockey club. All four NHL players' contracts expired at the end of the season.

The criminal charge was filed in January following a revived London police investigation into what happened in a Delta London Armories hotel room in June 2018 following a gala fundraiser for Hockey Canada.

A woman who was 18 at the time claims that members of the hockey team sexually assaulted her after meeting them at a Richmond Row bar and, after she separated from a friend, went to the hotel room with one of the players to have sex with to have mutual consent. . Others were invited into the room and she claims she was sexually assaulted by several men.

No charges were laid following the initial police investigation in London in 2019. She launched a $3.5 million lawsuit, which was quietly settled by Hockey Canada but sparked public outrage in May 2022. The London police then reopened the investigation.

All five players have trials selected by judge and jury.

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