Former Vancouver Canucks forward Reid Boucher has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a then 12-year-old girl in 2011.
At the time, Boucher was a 17-year-old in the USA Hockey National Team Developmental program based in Plymouth, Mich. and billeting with the survivor’s family.
Although Boucher, now 28, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carries a 25-year sentence to life in prison, he pleaded guilty on Dec. 13 to third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving sexual penetration with an individual between 13 to 16-years-old.
No upfront jail time
During the December hearing in Washtenaw County Trial, Circuit Judge Patrick Conlin allowed Boucher to enter a plea agreement for the lesser charge, with no upfront jail time.
If Boucher successfully completes his sentence, this case won’t appear on his record because of the Holmes Youth Trainee Act (HYTA)—a bill that allows offenders between ages 18 and 26 an opportunity to keep criminal offences off their permanent criminal record from public viewing.
Conlin said the charge was appropriate because of the “unusual” circumstances, referencing the perpetrator’s age at the time of the assault and how long it has been since then, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The survivor, now 23-years-old and whose identity is protected due to the nature of the case, told The Free Press that she was “disgusted” with the sentence.
“I feel like a lot of the progress I’ve made over the last 10 years — that’s been undone," she said.
The survivor said Boucher assaulted her twice, blackmailing the then-preteen with videos of her dancing and later, threatening to expose the first assault to everyone.
When she told her friends about what happened, one friend told her parents who later contacted USA Hockey. In the end, Boucher was removed from the home by mid-March 2011.
He continued to succeed in his hockey career, being drafted to the New Jersey Devils and eventually playing for his current league, the international Kontinental Hockey League.
The woman reportedly struggled with substance use disorder, an eating disorder and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She came forward after hearing other survivor accounts in the Larry Nassar case in 2018.
Boucher’s hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31.