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NHLer Michael McLeod faces 2 charges in sexual assault case involving 4 other ex-Canadian world junior players

New Jersey Devils centre Michael McLeod faces one count of sexual assault and one count of being party to the offence, on or about June 19, 2018. He's among five players who've been charged in an investigation into an alleged sexual assault when they were members of Canada's World Junior hockey team. (Matt Slocum/The Associated Press - image credit)

WARNING: This article contains graphic content and may affect those who have experienced sexual violence or know someone affected by it.

New Jersey Devils centre Michael McLeod faces two charges in connection with an alleged sexual assault in 2018 in London, Ont., that has also led to one charge each against four other players who were members of Canada's World Junior hockey team.

CBC News has obtained court documents that show the London Police Service (LPS) formally charged McLeod on Wednesday with one count of sexual assault and one count of being party to the offence, on or about June 19, 2018.

McLeod's Devils teammate, Cal Foote, was charged Sunday, the same dayAlex Formenton, 24, a former NHL player now playing in Switzerland, showed up at LPS headquarters to be charged with sexual assault.

Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers was charged Friday. Dillon Dubé of the Calgary Flames was charged on Monday.

From left to right: Dillon Dubé, Cal Foote, Michael McLeod, Carter Hart and Alex Formenton.
From left to right: Dillon Dubé, Cal Foote, Michael McLeod, Carter Hart and Alex Formenton.

Dillon Dubé, Cal Foote, McLeod and Carter Hart, all currently in the NHL, and former NHLer Alex Formenton, left to right, face charges. They're expected in a London court on Monday. (USA TODAY Sports/Reuters; Getty Images; The Associated Press; Getty Images; USA TODAY Sports/Reuters)

All of the accused are due in a London court on Monday, the same day London police are expected to hold a news conference.

The five players have defended their innocence through their lawyers, who confirmed their clients will plead not guilty. McLeod, Dubé, Foote and Hart, all 25, are on leave from their NHL teams.

Background on the case

It's alleged the incident occurred following a Hockey Canada gala in the southwestern Ontario city in June 2018, when the players were honoured for their victory at the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

Court documents from 2022 revealed London police believed they had reasonable grounds to accuse five players of sexually assaulting a young woman in a hotel room.

In a statement of claim, the complainant, known as E.M. in the court documents, alleged she went to a player's hotel room at the Delta Armouries after the gala and engaged in sexual acts with him.

The statement of claim alleged that at some point, the player allowed seven others to enter the room without her "knowledge or consent."

The Delta Armouries in London, Ont. Police have asked for a search warrant to the room where the alleged sexual assaults took place.
The Delta Armouries in London, Ont. Police have asked for a search warrant to the room where the alleged sexual assaults took place.

The Delta Armouries in London, Ont., where the alleged sexual assault occurred on June 19, 2018, according to police documents. (Amanda Margison / CBC News)

Over several hours, according to the statement of claim, the group of hockey players engaged in a series of degrading sexual acts, including placing genitals on the victim's face, slapping her buttocks, spitting and ejaculating on her and engaging in vaginal intercourse while she was too intoxicated to consent.

The LPS closed the case in 2018, then reopened it in 2022 in response to public outrage following a lawsuit that Hockey Canada settled for $3.5 million.

London police have not provide information about the charges, saying they will speak publicly on Monday at the news conference, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.

The police service closed the case in 2018, then reopened it in 2022 in response to public outrage following a lawsuit.

For anyone who has been sexually assaulted, there is support available through crisis lines and local support services via this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. If you're in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.