Former 1st round pick charged with sexual assault

Published January 27, 2022 at 3:14 PM
BY COLE HAYES
*Content warning:* This article covers sexual assault which can be triggering for some people. Proceed with caution.

Former Vancouver Canucks forward, Jake Virtanen has been charged with 1 count of sexual assault on Thursday. The charges stem from an incident that occurred in a West Vancouver hotel in September 2017. Vancouver police launched an investigation in May, 2021 after the victim came forward to them.

Per a local report, the victim, whose identity is being protected, had accompanied Virtanen to his hotel room. The victim had claimed that Virtanen made several unwanted sexual advances, each of which she had turned down. Virtanen persisted and had forceful, non-consensual intercourse with the woman, who was classified as a "youth" at the time of the incident.

Virtanen was bought out by the Canucks in the summer of 2021. He was on leave from the team since these allegations surfaced and he did not sign an NHL contract last summer. Virtanen has spent the 2022 season with Spartak Moscow of the KHL.


According to Vancouver police, Virtanen is currently not in custody, as he is still playing hockey in Russia.

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