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World Juniors sex assault case: A timeline of the allegations, probes and charges

Five members of the 2018 World Juniors hockey team are facing charges in an alleged sexual assault involving a 20-year-old woman in London, Ont., in 2018, news of which has kicked off intense national scrutiny over hockey leadership and culture.

The case has engulfed not just players on the team, but also the London Police, which closed and then reopened the investigation as well as Hockey Canada, which privately settled with the claimant. News of that settlement initially spurred the intense scrutiny, with five players now facing charges and a court case beginning to unfold.

Here is everything you need to know about what has happened so far:

June 18, 2018: A woman whom London Police records only refer to as “E.M.” met a 2018 World Junior team player, whose identity the records also do not reveal, at a bar in London, Ont.

June 19, 2018: The sexual assault is alleged to have taken place in the early morning of June 19, 2018. E.M. returned home and court filings say she is found by her mother.

June 20, 2018: London Police begin investigating the allegations. Hockey Canada hires law firm Henein Hutchison LLP to conduct an independent probe.

Feb. 2019: London Police finish their first investigation, and close the probe without charges.

Sept. 2020: Hockey Canada concludes its first report into the alleged assaults and has not released it publicly.

May 2022: Hockey Canada settles a $3.5-million civil case with E.M., as first reported by TSN. Intense scrutiny of the organization and the initial handling of the allegations erupts.

June 22, 2022: Ottawa freezes funding for Hockey Canada.

July 14, 2022: Hockey Canada announces it is reopening its third-party investigation into the alleged sexual assault, stating player participation is mandatory. CEO Scott Smith told a parliamentary committee that “12 or 13” of the 19 players had been interviewed for the previous investigation.

July 16, 2022: The CEO for Sport Canada, a federally-funded organization that supports sports in Canada, told MPs at a committee that the organization was aware of an alleged sexual assault tied to a Hockey Canada event in 2018 but didn’t tell the sports minister.

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July 19, 2022: The Globe and Mail reports Hockey Canada has a multi-million-dollar fund that draws funds from registration fees from players across the country and which the organization uses at its discretion, including to pay settlements in sexual assault lawsuits. The fund was not listed publicly.

July 20, 2022: Hockey Canada announces it will no longer use the National Equity Fund, which is partially funded by players’ registration fees, to pay for sexual assault settlements.

July 22, 2022: London Police reopen the criminal investigation into the alleged sexual assault two days after then-chief Steve Williams announced a review of the force’s first investigation had found “further investigative opportunities available.”

July 27, 2022: Hockey Canada’s CEO Brian Cairo tells a parliamentary committee the organization paid out nine settlements worth $7.6 million since 1989 using the National Equity Fund.

Aug. 2, 2022: The International Ice Hockey Federation, hockey’s world governing body, announces it is investigating Hockey Canada’s handling of the sexual assault allegations.

Aug. 6, 2022: Hockey Canada chair Michael Brind’Amour resigns.

Oct. 3, 2022: The Globe and Mail reports that Hockey Canada has a second fund it uses to settle sexual assault lawsuits

Oct. 5, 2022: Tim Hortons and Scotiabank cut sponsorships for Team Canada.

Oct. 7, 2022: Nike suspends funding with Hockey Canada

Oct. 11, 2022: Hockey Canada’s CEO and entire board resign.

Dec. 17, 2022: Hockey Canada elects a new board of directors.

Dec. 19, 2022: Global News and other outlets obtain copies of an information to obtain order filed by London police to a judge. Information to obtain orders are used by police to seek judicial authorizations for search warrants related to the case. This ITO states that police believe there are “reasonable grounds” to believe five plays from the 2018 team sexually assaulted E.M.

Dec. 21, 2022: Hockey Canada says its third-party investigation by law firm Henein Hutchison LLP into the 2018 allegations is complete. The organization also stated it would not release the report.

Feb. 15, 2023: A federal audit concludes Hockey Canada did not use public funds to pay for sexual assault settlements.

March 27, 2023: Hockey Canada bars 2018 world junior players from international competition until an investigation is completed.

April 16, 2023: The federal government resumes funding Hockey Canada.

July 17, 2023: Nike, a major Hockey Canada sponsor, cuts ties with the organization.

Nov. 14, 2023: Hockey Canada again states it will not release the investigation by a third party law firm into the 2018 allegations.

Dec. 14, 2023: Tim Hortons and Telus resume funding Hockey Canada.

Jan 24, 2024: The Globe and Mail reports citing source that five players have been ordered to surrender to police to face sexual assault charges.

Jan. 28, 2024: Alex Formenton, who previously played for the Ottawa Senators and now plays in Switzerland, surrenders to police. He had been a member of the 2018 World Juniors team. His lawyer tells the Globe and Mail that he has been charged and will vigorously defend himself.

Jan. 30, 2024: Lawyers for New Jersey Devils players Michael McLeod and Cal Foote and Calgary Flames forward Dillon Dube told Global News their clients have been charged by police in London, Ont. Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart has also been charged, his lawyers said in a public statement. All say they will defend themselves. The charges against all five players have not been proven in court.

Feb. 2, 2024: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will not consider any potential punishment for the accused players until after legal proceedings.

Feb. 5, 2024: Formenton, Hart, Dube, Foote and McLeod make their first appearance in a London courthouse. They did not enter pleas and their next appearance is scheduled for April 30.

Feb. 5, 2024: London Police chief Thai Truong apologized to E.M., saying, “It shouldn’t take years and years for us to arrive at the outcome of today.” He and other officers offered few details, saying they could not compromise the ongoing legal case.

— with files from Aaron D’Andrea, Sean Boyton, Saba Aziz,  Matthew Trevithick, Amanda Connolly and the Canadian Press’s Joshua Clipperton and Lori Ewing. 


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