Plaintiff testifies at trial of ex-Canucks player Jake Virtanen

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Plaintiff testifies at trial of ex-Canucks player Jake Virtanen

Former Canucks player Jake Virtanen, as he enters the Vancouver courthouse, July 18, 2022.

The trial of former Canucks player Jake Virtanen opened Monday in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver with the testimony of the plaintiff, MS, who alleges that he was sexually assaulted by the hockey player in 2017.

The 25-year-old Abbotsford native was criminally charged in January following an investigation by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).

< p class="e-p">MS, whose identity is protected by court order, told the court the incident allegedly occurred on September 26, 2017, in a hotel room at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver, while Jake Virtanen was playing for the National Hockey League (NHL).

The 23-year-old woman testified that she told him several times that she did not want to have sex with him.

The VPD started the investigation in May 2021, after the plaintiff filed a civil lawsuit. The Canucks suspended Jake Virtanen shortly after the allegations became public and bought out his contract the following month.

The youngster is not being detained pending proceedings and he played for Spartak Moscow of the Continental Hockey League last season.

At the time of the alleged assault, he was 21 years old, and MS, 18 years old. The latter, from a small town in the interior of British Columbia, said she met the player at the Calgary Stampede.

Jake Virtanen was let go of the Canucks when the allegations became public, in 2021.

The lawsuit, which takes place before a jury, should last approximately one week. The plaintiff is scheduled to be cross-examined by defense counsel on Tuesday.

Jake Virtanen denied the allegations in a response to the civil suit filed in court in 2021.

With information from The Canadian Press and Karin Larsen

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