Alex Formenton turns self in amid Canada juniors inquiry

Former NHL player Alex Formenton turned himself in to police Sunday in connection with an investigation into an alleged sexual assault by several members of Canada's 2018 world junior team.

Formenton's legal team told The Associated Press that police in London, Ontario, have charged Formenton and several other players. Lawyer Daniel Brown did not say what charge Formenton was facing.

"Alex will vigorously defend his innocence and asks that people not rush to judgment without hearing all of the evidence," Brown said in a statement sent by email to the AP.

Five players from that 2018 team have taken a leave of absence over the past week from their current clubs, including Formenton, a former Ottawa Senators player who is now in Europe. His Swiss team, HC Ambri-Piotta, said he was granted an indefinite leave of absence for personal reasons and was allowed to return home to Canada.

NHL players Michael McLeod and Cal Foote of the New Jersey Devils, Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers, and Dillon Dube of the Calgary Flames also went on leave in recent days.

London Police have scheduled a news conference for Feb. 5 to address the situation and declined to comment further. Reached Sunday, a spokesperson said police "will provide all updates at our press conference."

Formenton, 24, played 109 games for the Senators from the 2017-18 season through 2021-22 before his contract was not renewed and he went overseas.