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Alex Formenton first of five 2018 World Juniors players to surrender to police

Former Ottawa Senators player Alex Formenton has turned himself into London police headquarters Sunday.

Formenton was spotted by a Global News camera operator around noon amid reportedly anticipated charges in relation to an alleged group sexual assault.

London police says it will “provide all updates at our press conference scheduled for February 5, 2024,” in response to Global News’ request for confirmation of Formenton’s surrender.

“The London Police have charged several players, including Alex Formenton, in connection with an accusation made in 2018. Alex will vigorously defend his innocence and asks that people not rush to judgment without hearing all of the evidence,” Formenton’s lawyer said in a statement to the Globe and Mail.

The 24-year-old is one of five members of Canada’s 2018 World Juniors hockey team told to surrender to police to face charges for the alleged assaults in London, Ont, according to a report by The Globe.

The media report released Wednesday cited two sources with knowledge of the investigation who were not named because they were not authorized to speak on the case.

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The players were given a set period of time to present themselves at London police headquarters, the Globe reported. Global News has not independently confirmed the Globe reporting.

Several players who were members on the 2018 team have taken indefinite leaves of absence from their clubs over recent days, according to statements from their teams posted on the social media platform X and in public comments. Those players are Michael McLeod and Cal Foote of the New Jersey Devils, Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers, Dillon Dube of the Calgary Flames and Formenton, who now plays in Switzerland.

There is no confirmation that the leaves are related to the Globe report.

The reportedly anticipated charges stem from an alleged group sexual assault in London, Ont., in June 2018 after a Hockey Canada gala event.

News of the event first broke in May 2022 after TSN reported Hockey Canada had settled a civil lawsuit with the complainant. That report triggered a series of events, which included renewed investigations, as well as intense scrutiny focused on Hockey Canada that eventually led the entire board and leadership team to resign.

Foote’s agent previously told Global News in 2022 his client was not involved in the alleged sexual assault. A lawyer for Hart at the time said his client had not “engaged in any wrongdoing.” Dube’s agent said at the time his client “did not engage in any wrongdoing.” Attempts to contact representatives for McLeod and Formenton went unanswered.

More to come.

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