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Today at 11:27

First appearance

By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
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THUNDER BAY – The case of two former University of Ottawa hockey players accused of sexual assault while in this city made its first appearance in a courtroom Tuesday.

David Foucher and Guillaume Donovan, both of Gatineau, Que., appeared at the Thunder Bay Courthouse to answer each to one count of sexual assault that was laid in August following the February incident.

Police originally told media in March that the alleged assault occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 2 at the Victoria Inn, involving a 21-year-old female victim. The two were in Thunder Bay with the rest of their then  Gee Gees hockey team for a regular season weekend series against the Lakehead Thunderwolves.

Foucher, 25, appeared in person for the afternoon session. He entered the courthouse alone about 30 prior to the resumption of proceedings, entering the building alone.

He stood before the court, represented by local duty counsel. The court heard that his lawyer is Montreal based Jean-Pierre Rancourt, who was not present. He left immediately following the adjournment of his case.

Donovan, 24, was represented by Ottawa lawyer Christian Deslauriers, who appeared before the court Tuesday morning and requested the case be adjourned for about a month as he awaits disclosure.

The Thunder Bay Police Service first became aware of the alleged incident nearly one month later, on Feb. 25, through a third party complainant. That sparked a joint investigation between both the Thunder Bay and Ottawa Police services with assistance from the RCMP.

The two had been arrested and processed by Ottawa police and released with on a promise to appear.

Following an internal review the university suspended the entire men’s hockey program for the upcoming season and dismissed coach Real Paiement, citing a failure to follow standards of behaviour.

Foucher, a senior, was the captain of the last season’s Gee Gees squad while Donovan, a junior, was an alternate captain.

The next court date for both Foucher and Donovan is scheduled for Nov. 4.

A publication ban was placed on all evidence during the preliminary hearings.

None of the charges against the accused men have been proven in court.

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