His new team general manager says the former NHL hockey player who was sentenced in a sexual assault case made a ‘mistake’

SAINT PAUL, MN - JUNE 25: 99 TOTAL PICKUP Reed Boucher of the New Jersey Devils looks on during day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

SAINT PAUL, MN – JUNE 25: 99 TOTAL PICKUP Reed Boucher of the New Jersey Devils looks on during day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Four months later They are expelled amid the fallout from a sexual assault casea former NHL hockey player has been signed from Michigan to another team from the Kontinental Hockey League.

The team announced on Saturday that Red Boucher, 28, from Okemos, will play for Russian team Avangard Omsk on a one-year contract.

Before moving to KHL Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and then firing him in February, Boucher last year helped Avangard win the KHL version of the Stanley Cup – the Gagarin Cup – while he was under investigation by the Ann Arbor Police Department for The 2011 incident involved a 12-year-old girl when he was 17 years old.

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The girl was his pallet sister – or host family – during his tenure in USA National Hockey Team Development Program in Michigan. Now, as an adult, I told Free Press That Boucher pressured her on two occasions to use her mouth for oral sexual assault. She spoke under an agreement to remain anonymous due to the nature of the case.

Alexei Volkov, Avangard’s general manager, said the decision to hire Boucher “wasn’t easy” in the current situation.

He said Boucher made a “mistake,” noting that he was underage at the time, and separately saying that Canadian Olympic hockey player Corbin Knight “has agreed to sign a contract with Avangard thanks to Red Boucher joining the team.”

“It is very important to draw conclusions from mistakes, and to change for the better,” Volkov said. “Reed has pleaded guilty. It’s been a while since then, and our club has decided to give Reed a second chance. Everyone deserves it.”

The club also shared a video of Boucher online amid the ad. In it, Boucher said he’s trying to be a pro on and off the ice and that “the past few months have been tough for me and my family, but we’re trying to move on.”

This is the first time Boucher has commented on himself since then Free Press reported on the sexual assault case.

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next closed rule, His attorney, Pamela Sedlac, raised concern about what she called an apparent “amendmental history” by the woman at the center of his case. Shedlack said Boucher was willing to appear in court but made the decision that was best for his family.

Meanwhile, the woman spoke of years battling self-harm, eating disorder, and substance use disorder since Boucher’s assault, and said she’s been abused again as she came forward. She wanted Boucher to get some guaranteed prison time in the case, but after that, she expressed gratitude for “some semblance of closure.”

Boucher was originally charged in 2021 with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. However, in agreement with a Washtenaw County judge, he pleaded guilty in December to a lesser charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving penetration with a person between the ages of 13 and 16.

He was sentenced in January under the Holmes Youth Apprentice Act, or HYTA Four years probation With one year of suspended prison sentence if he successfully completes the test.

Under HYTA, his record will remain clean upon successful completion of his sentence; Apply it to the case raised concern With the victim and prosecutor in the sexual harassment scandal Larry Nassar and the victims’ advocates, although a number of defense attorneys sided with this step.

This wasn’t the only point of institutional concern in the case, either.

Police reports show that the US hockey program was At least enough information to remove Boucher from the host house in 2011But the organization denied knowing of any sexual assault.

Boucher went to playing periods With the New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks as well as Russian teams.

Darcy Moran is a breaking news reporter and podcaster The Detroit Free Press. She has worked as an investigative reporter and has covered justice, crime, protests, wildfires, and government affairs. Contact Moran: dmoran@freepress.com. Twitter: Tweet embed.

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This article originally appeared on the Detroit Free Press: Former NHL player from Michigan hired after pleading guilty to sexual assault