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Accused hockey players due in court in April

Tuesday, March 05, 2013   by: Brad Coccimiglio

The next court date for three Ontario Hockey League players accused of sexual assault has been set.

At a court appearance in which the three players were not present, the lawyer for the three players – Nick Cousins, Andrew Fritsch and Mark Petaccio – requested a new date for the case, which has been set for April 4 when the matter will be spoken to.

Since being charged in late August, court dates have come and gone, continuing to be pushed back during the hockey season.

With the new date set for early April, the appearance could come at the end of the season for all three.

Petaccio was traded to the Ottawa 67’s prior to the trade deadline in January.

With the 67’s eliminated from playoff contention, their season wraps up on Mar. 17, the final day of the OHL’s regular season.

Still members of the Greyhounds, the season won’t end as the regular season wraps up for Cousins and Fritsch.

With a playoff spot clinched, the opening round of the OHL playoffs will be in its late stages when the players next court date comes up, if the round has not been completed already.

Whether the season will be over at that time for Cousins and Fritsch remains to be seen.

For Cousins, the charges and court dates haven’t created as many waves recently as a comment made by a member of the Philadelphia Flyers management.

Flyers Director of Player Development Ian Laperriere spoke of the support the Flyers were giving Cousins.

“He's been in trouble with this stuff, but hopefully that's all going to go away,” Laperriere told The Philadelphia Daily News in February. “Part of my job is telling him that he needs to learn from that. You need to be careful what you're doing. All of our prospects need to learn from his situation.”

Laperriere found himself in a world of controversy after a comment regarding Cousins trying to change his image

“At the pro level, teams expect you to be an adult and act like one,” Laperriere said. “He's got a good heart... Let's be honest, stuff like that has been happening forever. You can't get away with anything now. He can't put himself in those situations.”

The comment made waves among sports media and fans alike.

In the days following the mid-February comment, Laperriere would go on to say that he was misunderstood.

“I would never say that rape happens all the time and that you can get away with it,” Laperriere told “Maybe my English got in the way. What I meant was kids putting themselves in a wrong position, a vulnerable position. Now with the money they make and the phones and the Internet, you can't put yourself in that position.”

The former NHL player did not, however, argue that he had been misquoted by the original reporter.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
jmdg 3/5/2013 11:03:06 PM Report

I think it is wrong that these hockey players have had their court date pushed so far because of the hockey season. If they are innocent they should have appeared on time and be done with it. If they are guilty, all I can say is that poor girl has to wait longer for justice. They are normal people just like everyone else. I don't think I could have a court date pushed back for any reason. Again this is an injustice.
JustMe1234567 3/5/2013 11:45:17 PM Report

I dont think they are saying the court date has been pushed back because of hockey. I think it is normal to have court dates remanded for several times for many reasons.

We'd need a lawyer to chime in here to know for sure.

Since the article is written by the sports reporter, I think he was just putting into context that the 2 hounds players are now in the playoffs and this could affect their participation in that, not in court. Court would trump hockey.
Hope that makes sense.

Completely appalled at what the Flyers guy said...I think he meant exactly what he said. Old boys club mentality alive and well with that clown. No wonder these young hockey superstars feel like they are untouchable. And I'm sure he does wish this would all just 'Go away'. Disgusting.

Since we know so very little of what really happened I will wait for this to go through the court system to render judgement on these guys. But the whole thing kind of stinks in my opinion.
libster 3/5/2013 11:55:19 PM Report

This is terrible!!! If three men who worked at Essar(for example) were charged with the same offence they would have been facing their charges months ago. This girl was violated plain and simple. These men have been protected for the sake of hockey!!!
sinikka 3/6/2013 12:13:48 AM Report

I see that these men are already convicted on this site. Having cases remanded is common practice regardless of one's status. The judge will not care that these men are or in petaccio's case were greyhound hockey players particularily when the judge may not even be from the sault. These men will have their day in court and if guilty they will be convicted but the verdict certainly will not have anything to do with their status as junior hockey players.
nitrocircus199 3/6/2013 12:55:09 AM Report

Hopefully someone sees these clowns on the street and give them a beating they'll never forget
libster 3/6/2013 1:10:11 AM Report

OMG!!! It has everything to do with their hockey status.. Especially in this town!!!
Darkwing 3/6/2013 3:25:34 AM Report

Most cases that go to trail take at least one year to start actual proceedings....I am pretty sure the judge doesn't care that they play hockey.
TOOLY 3/6/2013 7:23:44 AM Report

Sounds like everyone has got these guys accused and put in jail.
Has anyone considered the girl may have some fault in this circumstance???
a_mom 3/6/2013 7:27:34 AM Report

I think they should have been suspended from playing until it was all dealt with
hockeytime 3/6/2013 7:54:02 AM Report

To even suggest that the alleged Victim had anything to do with it clearly is an injustice and old school mentallity I guess that comment explains your post name
Sam C 3/6/2013 7:56:45 AM Report

Cases get pushed back at the request of the lawyers involved, for a variety of reasons... sometimes the lawyer has another client who already has an appearance scheduled for the same date in front of a different judge, sometimes its because the client is not available.

I was once called as a witness to a case, and had to take time off work to attend court. When I got there the lawyer stood up and asked for a continuance (pushing the date back) because he had been busy on another case and hadn't had adequate time to prepare for the current case.

This could happen whether they are hockey players, steel workers, or whatever.

Justice does not have to be rushed. I would prefer that justice be administered carefully and deliberately.
right wing 3/6/2013 7:59:31 AM Report

In these news release all the hockey bullshit should be left out of it.
What in hell does it have to do with the crime they are charged with.
I know what they are trying to do, reporting in this bullshit way, but it is wrong and and a slap in the face to all sexual assault victims.
Disgustingly veiled "journalism".
right wing 3/6/2013 8:02:01 AM Report

Tooly, making a comment like shows you to be a completely ignorant idiot to the real world of sexual assault.
Retreaded 3/6/2013 8:09:06 AM Report

They WILL get there day in court...when the lawyers and the judge are ready. It is beyond silly to say they are getting special treatment because of hockey. We have a great justice system in this country and it is working in this case too. BE PATIENT.
TOOLY 3/6/2013 8:19:23 AM Report

Just offering another perspective
right wing 3/6/2013 8:37:14 AM Report


A great justice system does not have wheels so slow they appear at times to go in reverse.
Until you are immersed in it you have no idea.
In sexual assault cases the victim undergoes a long process with much needed counseling.
They cannot "close the wound" moving forward until the charges are dealt with in court.
The real reasons behind some of these delays are simply ridiculous.
bulletcards 3/6/2013 8:48:28 AM Report

it seems most ppl on this site have already convicted these guys. fact is we know very little about what ACTUALLY happened. Not blaming the alleged accused or the alleged victim. the merits and facts will have to be proven in court. Does gang rape and such happen? yes. Do some women/girls falsly accuse athelets/celbrities for self gain? yes. Until we know the facts that come out in court we don't know what happened.
Lets leave it at that.
Ms Alotta 3/6/2013 8:50:14 AM Report

TOOL, Her fault, like she asked for it??? Like she wore a short skirt and therefore wanted to be assaulted? Like the young woman in India who was out late at night with someone who wasn't her father, brother or husband? No means No.
Cashmier 3/6/2013 8:53:04 AM Report

I've heard so many conflicting rumours about this case... but the important thing to remember is that they are all just rumours until the true story comes out IN COURT (not that we will be told too many details).

JustMe - There was quite a lot of back and forth after the initial backlash from Laperriere's comments, not all of it reflected in this article. He was actually interviewed again by a reporter who was a rape victim and she helped him clarify his intention:
B_I 3/6/2013 9:22:41 AM Report

If anyone has any information that would help resolve this case take it to court and let the court decide. If not, put the ropes away. You're not helping anybody.
TOOLY 3/6/2013 9:25:40 AM Report

I guess all are guilty until proven innocent. No one has all the facts except the four people in that room.
For any of you calling someone an idiot thinking they know it all is the idiot.
The media is very bias , don't believe all you read and hear on tv.
derek 3/6/2013 9:42:43 AM Report

“He's been in trouble with this stuff, but hopefully that's all going to go away,” Laperriere told The Philadelphia Daily News in February.

Wake up everyone...

Read the story folks..

There's a pay off coming! The longer it goes the more time for the girl to accept cash and make it all go away...

Not my words...Laperriere
vic-star 3/6/2013 11:06:44 AM Report

I agree with what TOOLY was trying to say, he/she clearly wasnt blaming the girl, just simply stating that there is a chance that she wrongfully accused them. Rape and sexual assault is a terrible thing that shouldn't happen, and if that is what happened, they should throw the book at these boys. On the other hand, it is not unheard of for a woman to falsely accuse a man of sexual assault, especially a guy in sports. I am not sure where it is coming from that she was beaten, I have a hard time believing that, as the guys weren't charged with assault, I think that came from typical Sault Ste Marie rumour mill exaggerating the story (it kind of came out of nowhere, and wasnt mentioned before). Also, everyone jumped to the conclusion that they "gang raped" her, and they were charged with sexual assault as I recall, which doesn't not necessarily mean rape. None of y'all know what happened in that room, only four people do, and they will have their chance to express that in a court room.
Slim Shady 3/6/2013 12:45:13 PM Report

…and we wonder why our justice system is broke and back-logged?! Really?! If these young men are innocent would it not just kill them inside to have these charges/accusations hanging over them? How the heck can you life your life let alone play hockey like this?

I think it is irresponsible and abhorrent of the legal system to allow a court trial on such a serious matter to be delayed for something as minor in nature as a hockey season. If this woman was victimized it would be a travesty of justice to delay getting her wrong doers punished! If these men are innocent, it is would also be a travesty of justice to delay getting their named cleared!

The only people who benefit from delays in legal matters are the Attorneys! Anyone that has gone through a divorce knows that it isn’t about the truth or what is best – it’s having your pocket books drained. Each time a lawyer shows up to court its $200-$500 minimum call-out. In fairness to any working person if they came prepared to litigate and someone cancels for whatever reason, it’s their time that needs to be reimbursed.
Norm 3/6/2013 12:55:29 PM Report

Yes lawyers could love rape cases, not sure, big money there. I said it before, if the Hounds make the playoffs, and especially if Cousins wins the scoring, they all will likely get off any charge. They made the playoffs, and Cousins just may win the scoring. I feel for the woman under these circumstances, I also know that sports celebrities are, in many cases, above the law.
right wing 3/6/2013 1:02:33 PM Report


Sexual assault is one of the least of all crimes falsely reported.
If you knew what the victim had to go through upon reporting a crime of this nature you would understand why.
Sexual assault is actually the most under reported crime due to the sigma that is associated with it, the process that the victim is subjected to...not to mention ridiculous, irresponsible "news reports" such as in this case.

"Has anyone considered the girl may have some fault in this circumstance???"

How anybody can take the above statement and conclude that it could equate to false accusation is beyond reasonable thought.
Old Man Winter 3/6/2013 4:44:34 PM Report

Our justice system is a farce...Wonder if the judge, crown attorney & lawyers get to share the same box at the Essar free drinks of course

Hockey VS law <-who won
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