Halifax Police: sex assault investigation involving 2003 junior hockey team ongoing

Halifax Police: sex assault investigation involving 2003 junior hockey team ongoing
Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP, File
FILE - The Canadian team poses for a photo after winning the gold medal with a 3-1 win over Sweden during the third period the title game of the IIHF world junior hockey championships, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y. Five players from Canada's 2018 world junior team have taken a leave of absence from their respective clubs in recent days amid a report that five members of that team have been asked to surrender to police to face sexual assault charges. New Jersey’s Michael McLeod and Cal Foote, Philadelphia’s Carter Hart, Calgary’s Dillon Dube and former NHL player Alex Formenton have all been granted indefinite leave, with the absences announced this week.

Halifax Regional Police say an investigation into a historic sexual assault allegation against members of Canada’s 2003 world junior hockey team is ongoing.

Constable John MacLeod said in an email to The Canadian Press that investigators are still gathering evidence, speaking with people who may have relevant information and looking for ways to advance the investigation.

He said sexual assault investigations, particularly historical ones, are complex, but added there is no statute of limitations.

The incident under investigation is alleged to have occurred in Halifax during the 2003 world junior hockey championship and involved members of Canada’s team.

Halifax police said in July 2022 that they were opening the investigation shortly around the same time that police in London, Ont., reopened an investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving members of Canada’s 2018 world junior team.

READ MORE: Five players from 2018 Canada world junior team take leave of absence from their clubs

London police said Wednesday that they are planning a Feb. 5 news conference to provide an update of that investigation. That announcement came amid a Globe and Mail report that five members of the 2018 team have been ordered to surrender to police to face charges.

The Globe and Mail report came as five members of that team were granted a leave of absence from their current professional clubs: Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers, Dillon Dube of the Calgary Flames, Michael McLeod and Cal Foote of the New Jersey Devils and former NHLer Alex Formenton, who is now playing in Switzerland.

Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General says no charges relating to the 2018 incident have been filed in court, and The Canadian Press has no information that connects the players’ leaves to the investigation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2024.

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