Former Ottawa Senators forward Alex Formenton has been charged in connection with an incident in 2018, his lawyer confirmed to The Athletic on Sunday.
The Globe and Mail first reported that Formenton turned himself in to police after being charged with crimes in London, Ontario.
“London Police have charged several players, including Alex Formenton, in connection with an allegation made in 2018. “Alex will vigorously defend his innocence and asks people not to rush to judgment without hearing all the evidence,” Formenton’s lawyer Daniel Brown said in an emailed statement to The Athletic.
Later on Sunday, London police said in a press release that they would provide “full updates” related to the case at a press conference scheduled for February 5, repeating a statement from earlier in the week.
Last week, the Globe and Mail reported that five members of Canada's 2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship team were ordered to turn themselves in to police and face sexual assault charges.
The Globe and Mail reported that the pending charges relate to an alleged sexual assault of a woman by multiple players in a London hotel room on June 19, 2018, following a Hockey Canada Foundation event.
Hockey Canada timeline: Key developments so far
Formenton – whose NHL rights are with the Ottawa Senators – is a restricted free agent who has not played in the league since the 2021-22 season. He is currently on leave from his team in Switzerland, HC Ambri-Piotta, where Formenton have played for the last two seasons.
On Thursday, Senators general manager Steve Staios was asked about Formenton's status.
“I haven’t spoken to the player. And I think all questions related to the situation must be clarified through the National Hockey League,” Staios said.
The NHL declined to comment on the situation.
The allegations were made public in a lawsuit the woman filed against Hockey Canada in April 2022. In the lawsuit filed in Ontario Superior Court, the woman claimed she was attacked by eight players in a hotel room after the inaugural event. Members of Canada's 2018 World Junior Championships were among those accused of assault in the lawsuit.
One Night in London: Sexual Assault Allegations and a Reckoning for Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada and the woman settled the lawsuit in May 2022.
After the lawsuit was made public, London police and Hockey Canada reopened their investigation into the incident, and the NHL also opened an investigation. The London police's initial investigation was closed in February 2019 without any charges being filed.
(Photo: Marc DesRosiers / USA Today)