Today, the London Ontario Police Department held a press conference and gave an update on the 2018 Team Canada sexual assault case involving Calgary Flames forward Dillon Dube.
Police Chief Thai Truong stated he could not share all the details as the investigation is still ongoing and many questions were left unanswered.
The initial investigation was conducted from June 2018 to February 2019 which concluded with zero charges. A comprehensive review was initiated three years later in July 2022.
"This review involves re-examining initial investigative steps, gathering additional evidence and obtaining new information," stated Truong.
Carter Hart (one count of sexual assault) of the Philadelphia Flyers, Dillon Dube (one count of sexual assault) of the Calgary Flames, Michael McLeod (two counts of sexual assault, received an additional charge for "being a party to the offence") and Cal Foote (one count of sexual assault) of the New Jersey Devils and Alex Formenton (one count of sexual assault), who currently plays in Switzerland were represented by their lawyers in court today by video call.
On June 18 the accused were in London for a Hockey Canada event to celebrate their gold medal win before going to a bar in London.
"This is where they met the victim in the early morning hours of June 19, 2018. The victim went to a hotel with one of the accused where the other four accused attended the same hotel, and this is where the offence took place," stated Detective Sergeant Katherine Dann with the London Police.
According to the lawyers, all the athletes will plead not guilty and will try to defend their innocence. The next court date for the accused is April 30.
The police chief apologized to the victim for this investigation taking so long and stated he would provide more details at the appropriate time.
Truong stated the initial investigators who were in charge of the case back in 2018 are not currently on the case.
Hockey Canada has also released a statement after today's press conference claiming they have cooperated fully with the London Police Service throughout its investigation and are committed to continuing to support the legal process.
While the appeal process is ongoing, all members of the 2018 National Junior Team remain under suspension by Hockey Canada. They are prohibited from participating, coaching, officiating, or volunteering in any Hockey Canada-sanctioned programs.
“Hockey Canada recognizes that in the past we have been too slow to act and that in order to deliver the meaningful change that Canadians expect of us, we must work diligently and urgently to ensure that we are putting in place the necessary measures to regain their trust, and provide all participants with a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment on and off the ice,” said Katherine Henderson, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada.
According to Hockey Canada, they have implemented significant measures to improve the culture of the sport and the safety of participants. those include:
- Requiring all national team athletes, coaches and staff to undergo a mandatory enhanced screening process, and complete training on sexual violence and consent
- Adopting the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport
- Becoming a full signatory to Abuse-Free Sport and the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC)
- Establishing an Independent Third Party for any hockey-related maltreatment complaints against anyone affiliated with Hockey Canada-sanctioned programs who fall outside of OSIC’s jurisdiction
- Hosting the first Beyond the Boards Summit, which was led by external subject-matter experts to help establish a roadmap to change the culture of the game at all levels
- Implementing recommendations from an independent governance review led by the Hon. Thomas Cromwell, C.C.
- Publishing an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Path Forward, which includes a Commitment to Action statement that summarizes our ongoing work to drive long-term, sustainable change within the hockey ecosystem in Canada.
Dube was granted an indefinite leave of absence back on January 21 from the Calgary Flames. On January 30, the Flames released a statement saying they did not know of these allegations when Dube left the team.
Dube is a former member of the U15 AAA Airdrie Xtreme.
The Flames drafted Dube in the second round, 56th overall in the 2016 NHL draft. In 325 career games, Dube has a total of 127 points, 57 goals and 70 assists.
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