Sex crimes are a serious matter. Simply facing an allegation of a sex crime casts any person in a light that can shine on them the rest of their lives. Facing charges in multiple cases forces that light to shine that much brighter.
Ben Johnson is a former Michigan Mr. Hockey player that represented Calumet High School. He is a developing young hockey player who recently signed a two way deal with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils after they selected him in the third round of the 2012 NHL entry draft.
Johnson is now also a defendant in two separate accounts of sexual assault in two separate court cases, both stemming from alleged incidents in 2013 at Windsor Ontario bars.
The first case relates to allegations from a young woman in her 20’s, and the second separate case relates to allegations from a 16 year old.
According to witness testimony as published by CTV, on January 13 of last year, a man was said to have trapped a young woman in a locked restroom stall at Krooked Kilt bar. The witness said the man, who she would later identify as Ben Johnson, exposed himself to the alleged victim and demanded sexual acts.
In an article by Sarah Sacheli of the Windsor Star published Friday, reportedly testimony from another woman also claims to have experienced a similar encounter with Johnson in the same Krooked Kilt washroom.
In Ben Johnson’s defense, Defense Attorney Patrick Ducharme argued that the witnesses were intoxicated and questioned the validity of their testimony. Ducharme claims the witnesses corresponded with each other, and with the alleged victim, suggesting they all may have colluded on evidence.
This case has been delayed and will resume September 30th.
The second case, completely independent of this first case involves an alleged 16 year old victim. This case is also said to have some origin in a Windsor area bar.
While Johnson is clearly innocent until proven guilty, facing multiple counts with multiple victims is not likely to be easily explained away.
In the first case, the restroom where the acts are alleged to have taken place, that washroom is considered “unisex” and there is reportedly no label defining it as either “mens” or “womens”. There is a plausible reason therefor to have both men and women in the same restroom at the same time.
In the second case concerning the 16 year old, details of the case have not been released. Because the alleged victim is under age, the court will not allow reporting of those details unless and until it chooses to release those details.
The cases against Johnson are at the minimum just another instance of why junior hockey players must not put themselves into situations where trouble may happen or could even be alleged to happen. Alcohol, women and athletes in bars are not a mixture for success, but rather a mixture for combustion and an allegation can be the match that lights that fuel.
Whether or not Ben Johnson is innocent or guilty, he is yet another cautionary tale for all young men. When you put yourself in a situation that has the potential for trouble, you place your entire life at risk. Gambling your life with a six pack, is an awful expensive price to pay for each and every beer.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher