Content Warning: Story contains information surrounding a sexual assault investigation
One of the Calgary Flames’ most recent draft picks has been removed from his Finnish team’s activity due to a criminal investigation.
Ronni under investigation
It was reported this morning that the Flames’ 2022 third-round selection, Topi Rönni, has been suspected of committing a sexual assault crime more than two years ago. The report notes that Tappara, the team Rönni plays for in the Liiga, reported the crime to the team and was subsequently removed from team activities.
Here is the quote directly from Rönni translated from Finnish:
Today, I have received a summons application related to the matter. The last two or so years have been hard waiting for the matter to progress. I trust that the related course of events will be clarified in connection with the trial. For the time being, I’m out of the team’s activities and I’m focusing on handling the matter.
The CEO of the team also released a statement on the matter, which is also translated from the article:
“We take the suspected crime seriously, but we are waiting for the court hearing and will evaluate the player’s position afterwards. This is also about labour law.”
There will be no future comments from the team and Rönni at this point in time.
It should also be noted that the Helsinki District Court has not set a hearing date, as well as that the documents surrounding the case are being kept secret since the crime was committed when Rönni was a minor.
The Flames announced their own statement on the matter this afternoon:
It appears that this has been known for some time now and has only since become public today. A truly awful development for all involved and something that should be watched with great care over the coming months.
November 6, 2023 update
Tappara has announced that Rönni will return to activities as of today. The head coach still has the right to determine Rönni’s place on the team and the lineup, but the team is abiding by Finnish labour law. Mika Aro, the CEO of Tappara was quoted saying the team takes the crime seriously and that the decision to have Rönni return is a matter of labour law.
If you, or someone you know, have been impacted by sexual assault and are looking for resources, please see the following list of sexual assault centres, crisis lines, and support services from the Ending Violence Association of Canada.