A New Jersey Devils farmhand, who is a former player with the OHL Windsor Spitfires, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in the washroom of a Windsor bar in March, 2013.
Justice Kirk Munroe delivered the guilty verdict against Ben Johnson, 22, in a nearly three-hour ruling on Thursday. Johnson, who was drafted into the NHL by the Devils in 2012, pleaded not guilty a year ago and testimony, which began in June, included both Johnson and the complainant taking the stand.
The complainant testified she did not consent and the Crown argued she was so intoxicated that she wasn’t capable of consent.
Johnson was released under his current bail conditions until Friday when Munroe is to rule if he’ll be placed in custody pending sentencing. Munroe said he found Johnson’s testimony “unbelievable” based on evidence provided by a sexual-assault nurse and multiple witnesses in the bar.
Based on the evidence provided in the 10-day trial, the judge determined Johnson should have known that the victim was too “out of it” from the consumption of alcohol to give consent to any sexual interaction.
Johnson has spent parts of the past two hockey seasons in New Jersey’s minor-league system. The Devils released a statement Thursday saying the organization plans to release Johnson, but wouldn’t comment any further at the time.
“ Based on the ruling, the club has initiated the process required to terminate Mr. Johnson’s standard player’s contract.”Report Typo/Error