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Ben Johnson Convicted on Sexual Assault Charge

Former Calumet hockey star Ben Johnson has been convicted of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in a bar in Windsor, Ontario, more than three years ago.

The verdict was read in a Windsor courtroom late this afternoon (Thursday) by Judge Kirk Munroe.

Johnson
Johnson

Johnson was a member of the Windsor Spitfires hockey team when the incident took place in a restroom at the Mynt nightclub March 18th, 2013. It was one of two assaults with which Johnson was charged that occurred around the same time. He was found “not guilty” in the first.

According to reports from the Windsor Star newspaper, Johnson testified that he had not had intercourse with the girl, and the sexual activity in which they did engage was consensual. The girl testified that she had not consented, and that the sexual activity was forced, and did include intercourse. Both had been drinking, and evidence was presented that the girl was inebriated, and possibly incapable of consent.

The victim’s name has not been released, per Canadian law. The Star reports that, in July, she filed a 3.95-million dollar civil lawsuit against Johnson and the nightclub, which is now closed.

In explaining his verdict, Judge Munroe said he found inconsistencies in Johnson’s story, and deemed it not believable. DNA evidence was inconclusive.

Johnson’s bail was continued, at least for one night. The woman who billeted him when he played for the Spitfires agreed to let him spend the night at her home. A hearing on further continuance of bail and sentencing will be held tomorrow (Friday). He could face prison time.

Johnson is now 22 years old. He was drafted by the NHL New Jersey Devils in the third round in 2012, and saw limited action with their minor league affiliate Adirondack Thunder in the East Coast Hockey League last season. After the verdict was announced, the Devils terminated his contract.

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