Warning: This story contains sexually graphic details that may disturb readers.
Halifax police now have the names of at least two members of the 2003 World Junior hockey team who may have appeared in a video of an alleged group sexual assault nearly two decades ago, CBC News has learned.
A person who was shown a video of the alleged incident after it happened in 2003 said that, in a recent interview with police, he reported the identities of two players he recognized in the video.
“[The video] It turned my stomach,” the source told CBC News. “I knew what I was seeing was wrong.
“I recognized two of the players and they both had NHL careers.”
CBC News has agreed to keep the identity of the person who viewed the video confidential because he said he fears he may suffer negative repercussions, both professionally and personally.
Police launched an investigation into the sexual assault allegations in July after TSN first learned of the alleged video during the height of the Hockey Canada scandal that rocked the sports world.
In recent months, major sponsors have cut ties with Hockey Canada, the federal government has frozen its funding, and a parliamentary committee has started public hearings on the organization’s handling of sexual assault claims.
Police in Canada are investigating three separate alleged group sexual assaults involving junior hockey players between 2003 and 2018. All three cases involve allegations that groups of players degraded an intoxicated woman alone. The allegations have not been proven in court.
Police in London, Ontario. and Quebec City reopened investigations over the past month in response to public outrage over the lack of charges.
CLOCK/ Quebec City Police Reopens Gatineau Olympiques Group Sexual Assault Complaints
The source said he told Halifax police that he recognized the 2003 junior world player holding the camcorder at the beginning of the video because he held the camera up to his face.
The source said the footage showed the player “exciting” what he was about to show inside a hotel room. The hockey player, the source said, looked into the lens and said “this is going to be a lamb roast,” a slang term for sexual activity involving a group of men and a woman.
The source said he also identified for Halifax police a second player he saw standing outside a room in the video.
The video showed the two men entering a room where a woman, who appeared to be heavily intoxicated, was lying on her back on a bed surrounded by five or six other naked players, the source said.
When one of those players penetrated the woman, the others stood around the masturbating woman and appeared to be waiting their turn, the source said.
“Her head was turned to the side and she was not active,” the source said.
(TSN previously reported that the alleged incident took place on a pool table. However, the source told CBC News that he recalls it taking place on a bed in a room.)
‘This was still eating me up inside’
The source said the video was taken in 2003 when the World Juniors were playing in Halifax. The star-studded team took home the silver medal that year, and several of its players had long NHL careers.
TSN first reported the video in July and spoke to two other people who saw it, including the owner of the camera. The owner lent the camera to crew members and found the footage when it was returned to him, TSN said.
The owner of the camera showed it to at least two other people, TSN said.
The source CBC spoke with said he didn’t report the video nearly two decades ago because he was brought up to “shut up, don’t say anything.”
“All I knew for myself back then was that it was wrong,” the source said. “I didn’t know these kinds of things were reported to the police.”
The source said he’s not sure what happened to the recording, which he said was about 90 seconds long, or if it still exists. The source said that he has been haunted by what he saw ever since.
“Every time the World Juniors came in, my stomach would get hard and I would think of that girl,” he said.
“This was still eating me up inside.”
CLOCK/ Hockey Canada has paid out 21 sexual misconduct settlements since 1989
The source said he spoke after seeing the news of the alleged 2018 group sexual assault. He said he hopes the police investigation will help the victim “find some level of healing.”
The source said he believes there could be other similar cases involving hockey players that have yet to be reported.
“There’s a sense of ‘boys will be boys’ bravado, and boys can get away with doing things,” he said.
“There’s not a lot of responsibility for people in sports. They can get away with things where others can’t. They need to be held accountable.”
A handful of players released statements about allegations
Since TSN first reported the video in July, five of the 22 members of Canada’s 2003 junior world team have addressed the allegations.
Former NHL players and 2003 World Junior members Jordin Tootoo, Nathan Paetsch, Carlo Colaiacovo and PA Parenteau released statements saying they were not involved in or had no knowledge of the alleged incident. Another former player, Scottie Upshall, called for an investigation.
Lise Gotell, a leading expert on Canadian sexual assault consent law, said case law shows a tendency for perpetrators to videotape sexual assaults, sometimes as a “trophy.”
People’s video memories can be used as evidence to help prosecute a case, he said. However, since the Penal Code was amended in 1983, corroborating evidence is not required to prosecute sexual assault charges, she said.
“Convictions have been made based solely on the complainant’s testimony,” said Gotell, a professor of gender studies at the University of Alberta who specializes in sexual assault law.
But Gotell said surveillance is a male-dominated field that has fairly high rates of “rape myth acceptance” and “not a very sophisticated understanding of the law of consent,” which can lead to investigations being shut down. no fees.
Gotell said the mounting allegations against Canada’s elite hockey players would suggest a disturbing pattern of behavior if they turn out to be true.
“If the allegations in these cases were true and what we’re seeing in these cases is a form of male bonding ritual that deals with the abuse of women… that’s extremely disturbing,” he said.
Police won’t say if a victim has come forward
Halifax police have refused to say if a victim has come forward while the matter remains under investigation.
“We encourage anyone with information to contact the police,” said Halifax Police Const. Bryan Peroni.
Hockey Canada said it learned of the alleged group sexual assault involving members of the 2002-2003 junior national team on July 21 and alerted authorities.
“We immediately contacted the Halifax Regional Police, notified Sport Canada of the information shared with us and engaged an outside investigator to investigate the alleged incident,” Hockey Canada spokesman Jeremy Knight said in a press release sent to CBCNews.
The hockey organization said the well-known defense firm Henein Hutchison, which it hired to investigate allegations of group sexual assault by members of the 2018 World Junior team in London, Ontario. — is not the same firm he commissioned to investigate the 2003 allegations.
CBC News asked the NHL if it is investigating the 2003 allegations or has taken any action. The league has not yet responded. The NHL launched an investigation of the 2018 allegation led by Jared Maples, the league’s senior vice president of security, who used to be the director of homeland security for the state of New Jersey.
Support is available to anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access local crisis lines and support services through this Government of Canada website or the Canadian Partnership to End Violence Database. If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety or the safety of those around you, call 911.
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