Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) falls in front of Edmonton Oilers’ Ethan Bear (74) as he reaches for the puck while Jesse Puljujarvi, right, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, March 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) falls in front of Edmonton Oilers’ Ethan Bear (74) as he reaches for the puck while Jesse Puljujarvi, right, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, March 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Trial begins for Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen, former Canuck charged with sexual assault

Charge tied to a police investigation into an incident that took place on Sept. 26, 2017

The trial for a former Canucks forward accused of sexual assault has begun in Vancouver.

Jake Virtanen was in B.C. Supreme Court as Justice Catherine Wedge gave instructions to the 12-member jury on Monday.

Virtanen, a 25-year-old native of Abbotsford, B.C., was charged with one count of sexual assault in January following a police investigation into an incident that took place on Sept. 26, 2017, when Virtanen was playing for the Canucks.

Vancouver police launched the investigation in May 2021 after a 23-year-old woman filed a complaint.

The Canucks placed Virtanen on leave the same month and his contract was bought out in June 2021.

He last played for Spartak Moscow in the Russian-based KHL and is not in custody.

—The Canadian Press

crimesexual assaultvancouver canucks

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