This fall could be a little busy on and off the ice for New Jersey Devils prospect Ben Johnson. The 2012 third-round draft pick who recently signed a three-year, two-way contract with the NHL club will head to trial in August in Windsor, Ont. where he is accused of sexual assault stemming from a March 2013 incident where a 16-year-old female accused him of sexual assault in a Windsor nightclub.
The Hancock, Michigan native played for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, where he played in 59 games and scored 28 goals this past season. After their season ended, he joined the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Albany, N.Y. and is set to compete for a roster spot heading into training camp this fall.
According to CBC News Windsor, he will appear in Superior Court August 15. The trial is expected to start a year after that for the soon-to-be 20 year old. CBC News also reported that Johnson is only allowed back into Canada for court dates, meetings with his lawyer Patrick Ducharme or official hockey games.
This could not be the only case Johnson has to deal with. SI reported that the publicity arising from this case led to another accusation of sexual assault, this time from a 20-year-old Windsor woman. That matter will be heard in Ontario Court later this month. It should be noted that these are allegations and more facts about each case will come out in court at the appropriate times.
When asked about the charges of sexual assault, Johnson said he had no comment according to NJ.com. “I just want to focus on hockey,” he said. “I’m just happy to be signed and move on. I’m a New Jersey Devil now and I’m happy to be there.”