Civil lawsuit accuses Canucks' Jake Virtanen of sexual assault
VANCOUVER -- Warning: This story contains a graphic description of sexual assault that readers may find upsetting.
A Victoria woman has filed a civil lawsuit against Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen, accusing him of sexually assaulting her in a West Vancouver hotel room in September 2017.
According to court documents, the plaintiff - identified only as M.S. - met Virtanen at the Calgary Stampede in July of that year and had been exchanging text messages with him throughout the summer.
M.S.’s lawsuit claims Virtanen asked her to meet up with him after she came to Vancouver for a photoshoot and to visit friends on Sept. 26, 2017. She was "a youth" at the time of the incident, according to the lawsuit, which does not give her age.
Court documents allege that he picked her up at a friend's house in North Vancouver and drove her to a hotel in West Vancouver, where he repeatedly touched and kissed her body, allegedly ignoring her repeated assertions that she did not want to have sex with him.
"Given Virtanen's height, body weight and superior strength, the plaintiff was powerless and was unable to force Virtanen off of her," the documents allege. "Virtanen proceeded to push open the plaintiff's legs and to have sexual intercourse with the plaintiff without the plaintiff's consent."
The allegations in the court documents have not been tested in court, and Virtanen has not yet filed a response to the civil claim.
CTV News has reached out to Virtanen's agent and the Canucks in an effort to contact him and get his response to the lawsuit. This story will be updated if a response is received.
Before the lawsuit was filed, Virtanen declined to comment on the allegations, according to Castanet.net.
The Canucks announced earlier this month that Virtanen had been placed on leave, and that the team would be opening an independent investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.