Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen skates during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game on Monday, September 28, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen skates during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game on Monday, September 28, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Canucks’ Virtanen responds to sexual assault lawsuit, says relations consensual

The 24-year-old hockey player has been on leave since the allegations surfaced online in April

Warning: Story contains descriptions of sexual assault readers may find upsetting.

Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen has responded in civil court to a Victoria woman who is suing him for allegedly sexually assaulting her in September 2017.

It happened at a West Vancouver hotel after she said “no” and pleaded with him to stop, alleges her statement of claim, filed in May.

In his response, filed June 1, Virtanen acknowledged having sex with the woman – whose identity is being protected – but says she consented “through her words and conduct.”

Virtanen says he did not “physically force the plaintiff to have intercourse” and denies that the woman expressed “any indication, verbal or physical, that she did not want to engage in sexual activity.”

RELATED: Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Virtanen and his accuser agree they met at the Calgary Stampede in July 2017. From there, the pair exchanged text messages and he asked her to meet when she visited Vancouver nearly two months later, on Sept. 26.

The woman says Virtanen picked her up from a friend’s North Vancouver house and drove her to the hotel, where the alleged sexual misconduct occurred.

Her lawsuit alleges his “reckless” and “abusive” actions were, in fact, “premeditated and intentional.”

Virtanen says he “understood that the plaintiff was 18 years old,” according to his response. The hockey player was 20 at the time.

The Canucks placed the player on leave after the allegations – which have not yet been proven in court – surfaced online in April.

READ MORE: Vancouver police investigating sexual misconduct claims against Canucks’ Jake Virtanen



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Canuckssexual assault

Just Posted

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

This bird’s eye view shows the tanker truck fire on Highway 24. Black smoke could be seen from a far distance. (Photo submitted by Kurtis Rainer)
RCMP respond to tanker fire in Little Fort

The Clearwater detachment responded to 37 calls this past week.

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

logo
Evacuation alert issued for residents south of Lytton

The TNRD Emergency Operations Centre in Kamloops says a wildfire in the area poses a threat to structures and residents.

Most Read