Former NHL player Alex Formenton turned himself in to police on Sunday in connection with an investigation into an alleged sexual assault by several members of Canada’s 2018 world junior team.
Formenton’s legal team confirmed to The Associated Press that police in London, Ontario, have charged Formenton and several other players. Lawyer Daniel Brown did not say what charge or charges Formenton was facing.
“Alex will vigorously defend his innocence and asks that people not rush to judgment without hearing all of the evidence,” Brown said in a statement sent by email to the AP. Brown did not respond to a follow-up message seeking further details.
Five players from Canada's 2018 gold medal-winning world junior team have taken a leave of absence over the past week from their current clubs amid a report that five members of that team had been asked to surrender to London police to face sexual assault charges.
That included Formenton, a former Ottawa Senators player who's now in Europe. His Swiss team, HC Ambri-Piotta, said he was granted an indefinite leave of absence for personal reasons and was allowed to return home to Canada.
London Police have scheduled a news conference for Feb. 5 to address the situation and declined to comment further. Reached Sunday, a spokesperson said police “will provide all updates at our press conference.”
Formenton, 24, played 109 games for the Senators from the 2017-18 season through 2021-22 before his contract was not renewed and he went overseas.
A message sent Sunday to a lawyer representing Hart was not immediately returned. Messages sent over the past week to the agents of all the players on leave also were not returned.
London police launched an investigation in 2022 after word emerged that Hockey Canada had settled a lawsuit with a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by eight members of that gold medal-winning team at a gala. The Globe & Mail, citing unnamed sources, reported Wednesday that five players from that team were asked to surrender to police in the city halfway between Toronto and Detroit to face charges of sexual assault.
The NHL opened its own investigation in 2022 and has pledged to make those findings public.
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