Sex assault investigations were ‘conducted appropriately,’ London police chief says

The front of London Police headquarters. Matthew Trevithick/980 CFPL

London’s police chief says an internal review into two sexual assault investigations dating back to 2019 has concluded, and he is “satisfied that they were conducted appropriately.”

Chief Steve Williams launched the internal review into the two investigations last week. They centred around sexual assault allegations from March 2018 involving the same complainant.

The internal review was announced a day after TSN published a report which said that a woman alleged she had been sexually assaulted by two men — one a Western University hockey player, the other a minor-league pro player — at a home in London.

The woman told TSN that London police had discouraged her from pressing charges.

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“The investigations were conducted in accordance with LPS procedure, ensuring the victim was supported through referral to victim services, and that her wishes with respect to charges were followed,” Williams said in a statement Thursday.

“As previously noted, and contrary to some media reporting, charges were laid regarding one of the investigations. With respect to the second investigation, charges were not laid and that investigation has been finalized and closed.”

According to the TSN report, the criminal charge against the Western University hockey player ended with the accused signing a peace bond in June 2020, agreeing to pay a fine and not communicate with or be within a certain distance of the complainant.

He was also suspended by the university for one-and-a-half-years and removed from Western’s hockey team, the report says.

Williams says police investigators spoke to the complainant as part of the review, saying that she was given information about options, including having the investigation re-opened.

“LPS continues to support and work with London’s Violence Against Women Community Advocacy Group to ensure best practices in victim support and investigation of sexual assault offences,” he said.

Williams was unavailable for interviews on Thursday.

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The case is separate from the sexual assault allegations, also from 2018, involving eight players from Canada’s 2018 world junior men’s hockey team.

In May, it was revealed that Hockey Canada had quietly settled a lawsuit filed by a woman who has alleged being assaulted while intoxicated by eight unnamed players following a gala event in London.

In July, Williams announced that London police would reopen their criminal investigation, which initially wrapped in February 2019 with no charges laid.

— With files from Hannah Jackson

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