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Jury finds former Canucks ahead Jake Virtanen not responsible of sexual assault


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If you happen to or somebody you recognize has skilled sexual violence and is in want of assist, these in Canada can discover province-specific centres, disaster traces and companies right here. For readers in America, a listing of assets and references might be discovered right here.

VANCOUVER — A jury has discovered former Vancouver Canucks ahead Jake Virtanen not responsible of sexual assault. 

Virtanen wept overtly when the decision was learn in B.C. Supreme Court docket on Tuesday. 

He clutched his head in his arms and was comforted by his defence attorneys whereas a number of family and friends, seated within the entrance row of the courtroom, whispered “sure!”

Virtanen and his attorneys declined to touch upon the case as they left the court docket. 

Virtanen was charged in January with sexual assault in reference to an incident in a downtown Vancouver lodge room in September 2017.

He instructed the court docket final week that the lady who accused him of assault was an “enthusiastic participant” within the encounter. 

The 25-year-old Virtanen, from Abbotsford, B.C., stated they mutually started kissing and touching one another whereas mendacity in mattress and helped one another take their garments off earlier than having intercourse.

The 23-year-old lady, whose identification is roofed by a publication ban, testified that she repeatedly stated “no” and instructed Virtanen that she didn’t need to have intercourse with him earlier than he pinned her to the lodge mattress along with his physique weight.

The court docket heard Virtanen and the lady met on the Calgary Stampede in July 2017. They exchanged numbers and saved in contact through textual content and direct messages on Instagram.

The girl was 18 years outdated when she drove to Vancouver that September to go to household and associates, and do a photograph shoot. She and Virtanen, then 21, made plans to satisfy. He picked her up from her good friend’s home and took her to his lodge room.

The girl testified that she had a “sinking feeling” in her abdomen once they arrived, however she trusted Virtanen, so she went as much as his room.

The girl didn’t go to police on the time.

In April 2021, she posted her story to an Instagram web page for survivors of sexual assault, then spoke with a reporter from Glacier Media for a newspaper story, naming Virtanen as the person who allegedly sexually assaulted her, and launched a civil lawsuit in opposition to him. 

Virtanen was enjoying right-wing for the Canucks when the allegations surfaced in Could 2021. The group positioned him on depart and acquired out his contract the next month. 

He final performed within the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League.

The Crown and defence attorneys completed their closing arguments on Monday, specializing in the reliability of testimony given by Virtanen and the lady. 

Defence lawyer Brock Martland instructed the jury the lady’s testimony was “riddled” with inconsistencies, some minor and a few “basic,” and stated she was not a reliable witness.

Crown counsel Alan Ip instructed the jury the lady had a “agency” reminiscence of the essential particulars of the alleged assault and was “unshaken on main and vital factors in her testimony.”

The 12-person jury started deliberating Monday afternoon following 5 days of testimony and delivered their verdict Tuesday morning.

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