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Canucks forward Jake Virtanen denies alleged sexual assault in court documents

VANCOUVER — Court documents show Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen is denying allegations that he sexually assaulted a young woman.

A civil lawsuit was filed in Kelowna, B.C., last month alleging Virtanen took the woman to a hotel in West Vancouver in September 2017 and assaulted her as the woman repeatedly said no and pleaded with him to stop.

Virtanen denied the allegation in a response filed on June 1, saying the pair had consensual sex and denying that the woman "expressed any indication, verbal or physical, that she did not want to engage in physical activity."

The allegations have not been tested in court.

Virtanen is asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed and for the court to award him special costs, due to the nature of the allegations.

Virtanen's lawyer declined comment in an email, saying "Mr. Virtanen will not be making any comments with respect to this matter."

The Canucks placed Virtanen on leave on May 1, saying in a statement that the team "does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claims as reported are being treated very seriously.''

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press