London Police Confirm Sexual Assault Charges Against 2018 Team Canada Members

In late January, five members of the 2018 Canadian World Junior Team – Dillon Dube, Carter Hart, Alex Formenton, Michael McLeod, and Cal Foote – complied with an order from the London Police Services to surrender themselves for the alleged 2018 sexual assault of a woman. London Police Services held a press conference on Monday to provide updates on the case.

During the conference, London Police Services refrained from disclosing many details, citing their inability to discuss aspects that were now part of the court case. However, they did offer some new insights into the ongoing investigation. Initially, London Police had investigated the alleged sexual assault from June 2018 to February 2019 but had closed the case without pressing charges. London Police Chief Thai Truong explained on Monday that investigators at the time had concluded there were insufficient grounds to proceed with charges.

A comprehensive review of the case was initiated in July 2022, triggered by a civil suit filed by the alleged victim. It was reported by TSN in May 2022 that Hockey Canada had quietly settled the suit for $3.55 million. While London Police did not confirm on Monday whether media pressure had influenced the decision to reopen the investigation, they did acknowledge that new information from the community had come to light during that period, prompting the reopening.

This review involved revisiting investigative steps, gathering additional evidence, and obtaining fresh information, according to Truong. Consequently, London Police found enough evidence to bring charges against the five men for sexual assault.

McLeod, aged 26, faces two charges of sexual assault, one for his direct involvement and another for allegedly aiding someone else in the assault. Dube, aged 25, Hart, aged 25, Formenton, aged 24, and Foote, aged 25, each face one count of sexual assault. All individuals were released with undertakings after their initial court appearances on Monday morning.

The civil lawsuit settled in 2022 involved the alleged victim accusing eight players. However, London Police confirmed on Monday that their investigation only provided grounds for charging the aforementioned five individuals.

According to Detective Sgt. Katherine Dann’s account on Monday, on June 18, 2018, the accused were in London, Ontario, celebrating their 2018 World Junior gold medal victory with their teammates. Following a Hockey Canada event, some team members continued their celebration at Jack’s, a downtown London bar, where they encountered the victim. In the early hours of June 19, she accompanied one of the accused to the Delta London Armouries Hotel. The other four accused also went to the same hotel, where the alleged offense occurred. Dann stated, “Later that morning, our service received a phone call from an individual related to the victim in this matter, seeking advice regarding a sexual assault.”