Hockey Canada Plaintiff Passed Lie Detector Test: Lawyer

The woman who filed a lawsuit against Hockey Canada for alleged group sexual assault recently passed a polygraph exam, her attorney said Tuesday.

A statement issued Tuesday by Robert Talach of Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers said the woman “successfully passed the ‘lie detector test’ with a rating of ‘true’.”

The result of the polygraph test, which was arranged by the complainant’s lawyer, was provided to London Police, Hockey Canada review and NHL investigators.

The woman alleged that eight players, including members of Canada’s 2018 world junior team, sexually assaulted her after a Hockey Canada gala event in London, Ontario, four years ago.

The London-based law firm released the statement to summarize its efforts following the alleged group assault and “to set the record straight”.

“Within a day of her leaving the hotel room, the London Police Service was notified and was investigating. After initial enquiries, she spoke to a detective at the police station on the morning of June 22, 2018. “That same day he underwent a physical examination at a hospital. He later submitted his clothes from the night as evidence,” the statement said.

In what erupted into a national scandal surrounding Hockey Canada, the woman filed her statement of claim on April 20, 2022, and Hockey Canada settled the case on May 24.

The plaintiff was seeking more than $3.5 million in damages from Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and the unidentified players.

Details of the settlement are not public and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

Hockey Canada’s handling of the case led to federal hearings, and the International Ice Hockey Federation said in a statement to The Canadian Press that it has launched an investigation into Hockey Canada’s actions.

“These are deeply concerning incidents that the IIHF takes very seriously,” the IIHF said in a statement.

Conservative MP John Nater, a member of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, says Canadians are concerned about the organization’s willingness and ability to handle such allegations adequately.

“Hockey Canada’s current leadership has shown that it is more concerned with protecting itself than finding the truth or combating the culture of silence,” Nater said in a statement sent to The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

“The Conservatives are hopeful that an in-depth investigation will be conducted to address these issues. We also continue to call for an immediate change in leadership at Hockey Canada.”

Hockey Canada denied a report Tuesday that a motion had been made for CEO Scott Smith to resign from his position.

The woman made it clear to London police on June 24, 2018 that she wanted criminal charges brought, according to her lawyer. She met with officers again on June 26 and August 31 of that year. She was informed on February 6, 2019 that no charges would be filed.

Talach said Hockey Canada’s original claim that the woman did not approach or cooperate with police was inaccurate.

“After a period of reflection, he pursued the matter through the formality of the civil justice system in the form of a lawsuit,” his attorney’s statement said.

“Despite having pursued criminal and civil legal cases, he was asked to participate in Hockey Canada’s reopened internal review and a renewed London Police investigation. He has complied with those requests. He provided a full written statement to Hockey Canada. Canada on July 21, 2022 and to the National Hockey League the next day.”

“This woman has fully engaged and cooperated with all legal and formal investigations surrounding these events,” the statement said.

In the meantime, the IIHF said it will continue to monitor Hockey Canada’s actions, including any reopened investigations, to ensure it is acting in accordance with the IIHF Code of Abuse and Harassment.

“The IIHF will take all appropriate action in accordance with the IIHF Harassment and Abuse Code where necessary,” their statement said.

It also recently emerged that Hockey Canada had been using its so-called “National Equity Fund,” which is maintained by membership dues collected from across the country, to settle sexual assault claims.

Since then, Hockey Canada has said it will no longer use the fund to settle sexual assault claims.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 2, 2022.

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