NJ Devils terminate Ben Johnson’s contract after sex assault verdict
Ben Johnson, 22, was selected 90th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils. He played in the AHL with the Albany Devils for the last three seasons. He played his junior hockey with the Windsor Spitfires.
On Thursday, the Devils announced that they were “initiating the process required to terminate Mr. Johnson’s Standard Player’s Contract” after Justice Kirk Munroe announced in a Windsor, Ont. courtroom that Johnson had been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in a bar bathroom in March 2013.
Johnson pleaded not guilty one year ago. This trial began in June 2016. He claimed that he and the victim didn’t engage in sexual intercourse, and that their contact was limited to “consensual oral sex.” The victim claimed nothing that occurred between the two had been consensual, and the Crown claimed that the victim was so intoxicated that she couldn’t have issued consent.
Munroe said he found Johnson’s testimony “unbelievable” based on evidence provided by a sexual assault nurse and multiple witnesses in the bar that night.
Based on the evidence provided in the 10-day trial the judge determined a blood stain found on the victim’s pants was from a tear of the hymen and not from her menstrual cycle as Johnson testified. This led him to the conclusion that vaginal sex did occur in the bathroom stall that night.
Munroe said based on the evidence of several witnesses 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 is also facing a $3.95-million civil lawsuit from the unidentified woman, now 20. According to The Londoner, she also named Mynt nightclub, a “now-defunct downtown bar,” in the suit, claiming that “its owners and employees allowed underaged people like herself to become drunk and vulnerable, then failed to protect them.”
Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.