NHL Hockey

Canucks' Jake Virtanen accused in lawsuit of sexual assault

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen has been accused in a lawsuit of sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel four years ago.

The suit, filed last week in Kelowna, British Columbia, alleges Virtanen took the woman to a hotel in West Vancouver in September 2017 and assaulted her as she repeatedly said no and pleaded with him to stop.

Virtanen's agent did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The allegations have not been tested in court and a defense statement has not been filed. The statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and repeated and ongoing nightmares.

On May 1, the Canucks placed the 24-year-old Canadian player on leave, saying the team "does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claims as reported are being treated very seriously."

The Canucks said at the time it had "engaged external expertise" to assist in an independent investigation. The NHL said then it would not comment until the investigation was complete.

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Updated May 17, 2021

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