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Former Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen was charged Thursday with sexual assault following an investigation by Vancouver Police.

“BC Prosecution Service approved one count of sexual assault against Virtanen, 25, in relation to an incident that occurred in Vancouver on September 26, 2017, when Virtanen was playing in the National Hockey League,”

-Vancouver Police

VPD also stated in the release that an investigation was launched in May 2021, after the now-23-year-old victim came forward.

Virtanen, who spent parts of six seasons with the Canucks, last played for the team on April 29, 2021. He was placed on administrative leave by the Canucks on May 1 after allegations first became public. The Canucks bought him out of the final year of his contract this past July. He was due to make $3.4 million.

Virtanen, who is currently playing for Spartak Moscow in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), is not currently in custody.

The Abbotsford native previously denied the allegations in a statement via agent Kevin Epp in response to a civil suit filed by the victim.

“Four years ago, Jake had consensual physical relations with a woman. There were no drugs or alcohol involved. He is adamant that absolutely nothing improper occurred and denies in the strongest possible terms any suggestion that this was non-consensual,”

-Epp (Aug 7)