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Two U of O hockey players facing charges in Thunder Bay sexual assault investigation

Two University of Ottawa hockey players have been charged with sexual assault following a months-long investigation out of Thunder Bay.

Guillaume Donovan, 24, and David Foucher, 25, both of Gatineau, are facing sexual assault charges after turning themselves in to Ottawa Police, who laid the charges on behalf of Thunder Bay Police.

Chris Adams, an executive officer with Thunder Bay police, says a 21-year-old woman was assaulted at a hotel in the south end of Thunder Bay on Feb. 2 after a game between the University of Ottawa and Lakehead University.  Adams said the hotel was where the University of Ottawa team was staying at the time.  He couldn't confirm whether or not the victim knew the accused prior to the assault.

Adams says the investigation was complex and lengthy.

"It took a great deal of time and effort but the results speak for themselves."

Donovan was a forward studying geography at the university, according to the hockey team's website, while Foucher, the team's captain and a defenseman, was a human kinetics major and originally from Sherbrooke, QC.

A university probe, separate from the police investigation, resulted in the entire men's hockey program's suspension through the 2014-2015 season, as well as the firing of head coach Real Paiement.  A statement from the university released Friday says the team will still be suspended for the upcoming season.

"It is important to note that in evaluating that report, the University's focus was not on whether a criminal offence had been committed or whether a conviction could be secured," the statement said.  "The University's focus was on whether the players' behaviour met the standards that the University community is entitled to expect from those who have the privilege of wearing the University's colours."

The statement says the university is working to rebuild the hockey team, hire a new coach, and implementing new policies and behaviour guidelines for future players.

Donovan and Foucher have been released and are scheduled to appear in a Thunder Bay courtroom Sept. 30.

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