Jake Virtanen Found Not Guilty of Sexual Assault

jake virtanen leave

A jury in Vancouver, British Columbia has found Jake Virtanen not guilty of sexual assault. The alleged incident occurred in 2017 and came to light in 2021. The Canucks released Virtanen upon learning of the allegations.

The former Vancouver Canucks forward wept openly as the verdict was read in the British Columbia Supreme Court on Tuesday, concluding a week-long trial.

Jake Virtanen Found Not Guilty in Sexual Assault Trial

The 25-year-old, who was drafted sixth overall by Vancouver in the 2014 NHL Draft, was charged in January with sexual assault in connection with an incident at the downtown Vancouver Westin Bayshore hotel on Sept. 26, 2017.

The 23-year-old woman testified that she repeatedly said “no” and told Virtanen that she did not want to have sex with him. However, Virtanen told the court last week that the encounter was consensual and that the woman was an “enthusiastic participant.” The jury found that the Crown had not established the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

The allegations surfaced in April 2021 when Virtanen was still playing for the Canucks. The woman (who can not be identified due to privacy laws), made the allegations against Virtanen on an Instagram page for survivors of sexual assault. She later did an interview with Glacier Media, identifying Virtanen as the alleged purpotrator. The team subsequently suspended him and placed him on leave before buying out the remainder of his contract the following month.

 

 

Main Photo: OTTAWA, ON – APRIL 28: Vancouver Canucks Right Wing Jake Virtanen (18) during warm-up before National Hockey League action between the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators on April 28, 2021, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)