PRESS RELEASE - HOCKEY CANADA

January 24, 2024

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The Globe and Mail has reported today (January 24, 2024) that 5 players from the 2018 Canada World Junior hockey team have been told to surrender to London Police in order to face charges of sexual assault. In light of this news, this office, having previously represented the complainant in this matter, has received numerous requests for comment. This is that comment and public reply.

The office of Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers represented the affected young woman during her initial response to this incident and during the civil litigation that occurred thereafter. As you are aware, the civil litigation concluded swiftly and some time ago. Though we did have communications with the London Police Services as well as both the internal investigations of Hockey Canada and the National Hockey League, that was neither the focus nor mandate of our retainer. We are no longer retained by this client and consider our work completed. Accordingly, we cannot provide direct comment on her behalf.

That being said we continue to receive media interest and outreach on this matter. Without a client to direct our communications, we are limited in what we can say. This is especially true when our former client throughout our time representing her was consistent in her desire for privacy. Therefore, all that we can offer to the media and the public on the recent events can only come from our position as a law firm with longstanding and national involvement on the legal issue of sexual assault, specifically representing only victims and survivors.

Accountability and deterrence are always concerns of our clients. What happens in these types of cases cannot be undone. Therefore, a common theme of our clientele is to ensure that those responsible are held to account and in turn deterrence is created to ensure such events do not happen to others. Both the civil and criminal courts offer routes to accountability and deterrence, each with different means to achieve it. The criminal courts impose their unique sanctions mostly on individuals. Civil court sanctions are primarily financial though the civil process can also expose information and result in institutional and public education on this issue. It is through adjudication or legal examination of these cases that such learning is achieved.

In this particular matter there has been limited legal adjudication. The prospect of a criminal prosecution offers a more fulsome adjudication. In that sense this development should be welcomed by anyone wishing to get to the truth. We expect that due to the subject matter and the high public profile of this case that some of the facts, like the identities of those involved, will be veiled. This office does not know the identities of the 5 players of interest nor are we in a position to share identities of anyone involved. The criminal law system has mechanisms to deal with these issues and ask that those be respected and adhered to by all.

In the end, we hope that renewed coverage of this case will result in renewed conversations about sexual assault, about institutional cultures, and about how best as a society we can address such with the goal of reducing both the occurrence of sexual crimes and also the resulting harm when they do occur. Our hearts go out to victims and survivors everywhere as they struggle with their own individual circumstances which news like this can aggravate.

The contact person for this matter is Robert Talach who can be reached at:

1-866-674-4994 / (519) 673-4994, ext. 31 (w) or (519) 639-2807 (c) or rtalach@beckettinjurylawyers.com

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