TSN’s brother Rick Westhead revealed Thursday that Hockey Canada has just resolved a case of alleged sexual assault against a young woman by a group of eight junior hockey players, including several members of the 2018 edition of Junior Team Canada. .
The young woman, identified by the initials EM, was allegedly repeatedly assaulted in a hotel room in London, Ontario, in June 2018, after hosting a Hockey Canada Foundation gala and golf tournament presentation. Members of the Canadian Junior Team were honored on this occasion because they had won gold at the World Championships six months earlier.
In a lawsuit filed against Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League (which groups the three main youth circuits) and the eight alleged attackers, the young woman claims damages for a total of 3.55 million dollars. The alleged attackers were not named in the documents seen by TSN.
The alleged victim alleged that she met a hockey player at a bar after the Hockey Canada gala while she was there with some friends.
After a drunken night, he would have left the bar with said hockey player to go to his hotel. It was there that the hockey player and the young complainant, then 20 years old, would have had sexual relations. Later, he would have taken another seven companions to her room and the young woman would have been attacked on several occasions by members of the group. Always according to the complainant’s version, she was held by force despite the fact that she cried and tried to get out of it.
The young woman’s lawyer, Robert Talach, confirms that his client has reached an amicable agreement that satisfies her. Hockey Canada also confirms to have closed the deal privately.
A Hockey Canada spokeswoman, Esther Madziya, argued in writing that the federation contacted London police as soon as its leaders learned of the serious allegations in 2018. Madziya added that the national federation had also hired a law firm. of attorneys to investigate this matter and make recommendations to prevent such situations from occurring in the future.
Ms. Madziya also told the TSN reporter that
the person making the allegations chose not to meet with police or Hockey Canada’s independent investigator. She also chose not to identify the players involved. It was her right and we respected her wishes. We have resolved this matter and, as agreed in this agreement, we will not comment further..
Dodge is classic:
It’s horrible, we know. Unfortunately, the case is resolved and we have promised not to comment on it. And then poof! As if by magic, an alleged gang rape by eight promising Canadian hockey prospects is supposed to be swept under the rug with no one talking about it or asking any questions.
In 2018, Junior Team Canada was made up of players who are now almost all established in the NHL.
The NHL, which says it has adopted a zero-tolerance policy regarding abusive behavior, released a statement Thursday. release in which he said that he had become aware of the facts
appalling and reprehensible that the victim blames
eight former Junior Team Canada players.
The league said it will try to establish the facts and the extent to which players who play in the NHL might be involved.
We will then determine what measures, if any, will be appropriate.the statement said.
Contrary to popular belief, Hockey Canada officials must now answer some very serious questions.
Some may remember that less than a year ago, Quebecers, Canadians and the hockey community were furious because the Montreal Canadiens selected Logan Mailloux in the draft.
The majority of the population, including the prime ministers of Canada and Quebec, felt that the Habs’ management had lack of judgment by choosing a young man who had photographed his girlfriend during a sexual act, then sharing the photograph with his teammates in Sweden.
The sponsors of the CH were thinking of disassociating themselves from the organization. Geoff Molson had to make a public apology. Mailloux, who had already sought professional help, was suspended from the OHL for half a season. He has been tracked ever since to ensure that he has indeed atoned for him.
Far be it from me to minimize Mailloux’s actions. But in the case of the regulations supported by Hockey Canada, we are somewhere else entirely. We are talking, neither more nor less, of the cover-up of an alleged gang rape without the perpetrators identified by the victim having to answer for anything!
Although it’s probably not on his agenda, Hockey Canada’s new CEO (he’s been in the job for a month), Scott Smith, absolutely needs to get up on the mic and answer some important questions. Like this one, for example: Why does Hockey Canada feel compelled to solve a sexual assault case that has nothing to do with it?
If the members of any association or company attend a convention and decide, at night, to go out to a bar and commit a crime, this does not engage the responsibility of the association or company. For the simple and good reason that there is no causal link between the two. Likewise, Hockey Canada is not responsible for the behavior of hockey players who have donned their national team uniform six months earlier and decide to go out to a bar after a banquet.
Therefore, it is not necessary to launch a great investigation to understand that Hockey Canada got involved in this story to protect its image and that of its program.
Scott Smith could also explain why Hockey Canada finds it morally acceptable to cover up the alleged perpetrators of such a heinous crime.
Three years ago, when captain Maxime Comtois faced harassment and hateful comments on social media after missing a shootout at the junior world championships, Hockey Canada helped launch a national campaign against cyberbullying. Nothing less.
However, when a young woman claims to have been sexually assaulted by eight Junior Team Canada players, her silence is bought, the case is buried in the back of a closet, the door is locked and the key is thrown away.
Were there no other options, Mr. Smith? Are these actions consistent with the values that Hockey Canada claims to uphold? It would be interesting to know what the women who make up Hockey Canada and who defend the same colors as the alleged aggressors think about it.
Finally, it would be nice to know where Hockey Canada will find the necessary funds to compensate the alleged victim. Because settling a $3.55 million lawsuit will certainly take more than prayers and a good handshake.
Will Hockey Canada take advantage of the annual dues sent to it by young Canadian hockey players? Or rather in the subsidies it receives from the federal government, therefore from taxpayers? Or will the national federation draw on the generous sponsorships it receives from its privileged partners like Tim Hortons, Telus or Esso?
This mind-boggling case shows once again that youth hockey culture is seriously ill in Canada. Up to the highest levels.
This is what the credible authors of a report commissioned by the CHL It ended a year and a half ago.
This important report, as we recently learned, was quickly covered up to keep the good people from knowing about it.
The more it changes, the more it is the same.
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