Content warning: This article makes repeated mention of sexual violence. Reader discretion is advised.
Former Vancouver Canucks forward Reid Boucher has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in 2011, according to a report from the Detroit Free Press.
According to the report, the assaults in question took place when Boucher was 17 years old and a member of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.
Boucher’s victim is now 23 years old and has not been identified due to the circumstances of the case. At the time of the crime, she was living with Boucher as his “billet sister” during his tenure with the USNTDP.
According to the Free Press, Boucher pleaded guilty on Dec. 13, 2021 to third-degree criminal sexual misconduct involving sexual penetration with an individual between the ages of 13 and 16 years old.
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This came after he was originally charged with first-degree sexual misconduct, which is considered significantly more severe and carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Patrick Conlin agreed to let Boucher enter a plea deal that resulted in him receiving no upfront jail time — a move that left Boucher’s victim “disgusted.”
Furthermore, if Boucher successfully completes his sentence, the case will not appear on his permanent record.
Boucher’s victim described her experiences with the ex-Canuck forward to the Free Press in graphic detail, including descriptions of how he twice forced her to perform oral sex on him:
Ultimately, the now-23-year-old woman said she recalls then-17-year-old Boucher on two occasions pressuring her into the use of her mouth for an oral sexual assault. She said when the first time took place following the discovery of the videos, Boucher coaxed her to continue despite a plea that she wanted to stop, and the second time, on a different date, he pressured her by saying that he would tell people about the prior time.
While Boucher moved up in the hockey world, Boucher’s victim struggled in the wake of the assaults. She told the Free Press that she has dealt with substance abuse and eating disorders, self-harm, and PTSD. She has also undergone in-home psychiatric care.
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“[Boucher] has never had to face any accountability. And then in the meantime … my entire life was kind of shattered into a million pieces,” the victim told the Free Press. “I’ve had to piece that together over the past 10 years.”
Boucher, now 28, currently plays in the Kontinental Hockey League with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. He played 48 games with the Canucks between the 2016–17 and 2018–19 seasons.