Former Calumet youth hockey player Ben Johnson will remain free on bail at least until he is sentenced on sexual assault charges.
Johnson was convicted Thursday of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in the restroom of a Windsor, Ontario nightclub in March, 2013. He was a member of the Windsor Spitfires hockey team at the time.
At a hearing in a Windsor, Ontario court today, prosecutors and Johnson’s defense attorney worked out a deal to increase his bail commitment. Windsor Star justice journalist Sarah Sacheli reported that Johnson’s family added another C$12,500 to the C$15,000 cash they have already posted. Two Canadian citizens have increased the amount each has pledged on Johnson’s behalf from C$7,500 to C$15,000. They are Joe Garland, a therapist with the Spitfires, and Fran Venes, who provided housing for Johnson when he played in Windsor. Garland and Venes have put up no cash, but would be liable for the amounts if Johnson fails to appear.
Johnson will be prohibited from entering establishments that primarily serve alcohol. He may not possess weapons or ammunition, and may not contact the victim or her family in any way. He must stay out of Essex County, Ontario, except for court appearances.
The Star reported that Johnson’s attorney is considering filing an appeal of the verdict, and wanted his client to remain free during that process. Under Canadian law, the appeal cannot be filed until the sentence is handed down. If bail had been revoked today, the appellate judge could have reinstated it, but Johnson would have been imprisoned until that time.
Judge Kirk Munroe approved the agreement, and scheduled Johnson’s sentencing hearing for October 24th. He also confirmed Johnson’s address in Calumet.
See our related story here.