Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen will make his next court appearance in his sexual assault case on March 2. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen will make his next court appearance in his sexual assault case on March 2. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen’s sexual assault case will be tried by judge and jury

First court appearance sees judge grant request by lawyer, next appearance set for March 2

Jake Virtanen, represented by lawyer Joseph Saulnier, has elected to have his sexual assault trial by judge and jury and also declined a preliminary hearing.

Virtanen appeared Thursday (Feb. 17) in Vancouver provincial court. The judge granted both of the requests, and Virtanen’s next court appearance will be in B.C. Supreme Court on March 9 at 2 p.m.

BC Prosecution Service approved one count of sexual assault against Virtanen, 25, in relation to an incident that occurred in Vancouver on Sept. 26, 2017, when Virtanen was playing in the National Hockey League. The charge was announced on Jan. 27.

The Vancouver Police Department launched an investigation in May 2021, when a woman, now 23, came forward to police.

Virtanen is not currently in custody, and has been playing for HC Spartak Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia. The KHL does not have any games scheduled for much of February due to the Olympics.

RELATED: Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen charged with sexual assault

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