Ex-Quebec junior hockey players jailed for sexual assault of teen at hotel in 2021

This story contains details of sexual assault.

Two former Quebec junior hockey players were handed prison sentences Monday for sexually assaulting a minor at a hotel in June 2021 in the aftermath of a Victoriaville Tigres championship celebration.

During a hearing in Quebec City, Nicolas Daigle, 21, was sentenced to 32 months in jail, and Massimo Siciliano, 21, was given a 30-month sentence.

The pair pleaded guilty last October to sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in the early hours of June 6, 2021; Daigle also pleaded guilty to two charges of filming and exhibiting a video of the act. The guilty pleas came as they were set to begin an 11-day criminal trial.

At the time of the assault they were members of the Victoriaville team in the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League, and the club was celebrating after winning the championship trophy on June 5, 2021.

The victim, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was an employee at the Quebec City-area hotel where the team was staying during the 2021 playoffs. She had befriended Daigle while he and his teammates were living at the hotel for about a month leading up to their victory.

She had initially declined an invitation from team members to join their party. Citing hotel policy, she had also initially said no to Daigle’s request to join him in his room. But later that night, after she left work, Daigle messaged her again and convinced her to return to the hotel.

The victim agreed to visit the room only with Daigle, but when she arrived she discovered Siciliano, whom she did not know, was also there. She said she felt trapped before she was assaulted by both of them, at times simultaneously, for about 40 minutes.

During that time, Daigle filmed the woman without her knowledge.

At one point Daigle left the hotel room and Siciliano continued to assault her. Later, she started crying and sought refuge in the bathroom. Meanwhile, Daigle had gone downstairs and was showing video of the assault to teammates and a coach in a conference room where the party was still going on.

A team employee learned of the video and intervened, making Daigle delete it. The victim only learned of the video’s existence the following day.

Both Daigle and Siciliano acknowledged they were drunk and did not take reasonable measures to obtain the victim’s consent. They even had a conversation afterward noting the victim had not enjoyed herself, the court heard.

Quebec court Judge Thomas Jacques delivered the sentences during a hearing lasting more than an hour, concluding that both men deserved prison time.

He pointed to the victim’s letter, read aloud during the sentencing hearing, in which she described herself as “the ideal sardine for their fishing net” and detailed the heavy toll the assault took on her life.

Both Daigle and Siciliano also testified during the sentencing hearing, expressing remorse for their actions and outlining how they had moved on from their hockey aspirations. After the judge delivered the sentences, both men were led away by constables.

Prosecutor Michel Berube said afterward he was satisfied with the sentences and saluted the courage of the victim for coming forward and filing a complaint. He said the outcome sends a strong message to sports associations — notably hockey leagues.

“We have two individuals who were playing for a prestigious league in Quebec, who committed acts and were found guilty and were sent to prison today,” Berube told reporters.

“It’s a significant sentence that reflects the gravity of what happened.”

The Crown sought jail time for both men; the defence wanted their clients to avoid jail time and serve sentences in the community.

– This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 8, 2024.

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