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London Police expect to hold press conference on Feb. 5

London Police London Police - The Canadian Press

The London Police Service announced Wednesday that it expects to hold a media availability on Feb. 5 to provide updates "in relation to a sexual assault investigation dating back to 2018."

The announcement came hours after The Globe and Mail, citing two unnamed sources, reported five players from Canada’s 2018 World Juniors team have been directed to report to police in London, Ont., to face charges of sexual assault.

"We understand that there is significant public interest in relation to a sexual assault investigation dating back to 2018," London Police released in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. "While we are unable to provide an update at this time, we anticipate that the London Police Service will hold a press conference on Monday, February 5, 2024, to share further details.

The investigation stems from an alleged sexual assault at a Hockey Canada golf and gala event on June 18, 2018, in London, Ont.

TSN reported in May of 2022 that a woman referred to in court documents as E.M. had settled a $3.55 million lawsuit against Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League, and eight unnamed former CHL players.

Against a backdrop of building public pressure, London police in July 2022 reopened their investigation into the case after initially closing it without laying charges in February 2019.

In October of 2022, a Toronto law firm hired by Hockey Canada to investigate the alleged sexual was ordered by a London judge to turn over all of its findings on the incident, according to court documents unsealed in December of 2022.

The National Hockey League has also been conducting its own investigation into the allegations.

A parliamentary committee convened a series of hearings to demand more information from Hockey Canada about both the case and about how Hockey Canada has historically managed sexual assault allegations.

The scandal led to the departure of Hockey Canada chief executive Scott Smith and the organization’s entire board. A new nine-member board was elected in December of 2022.