Tampa Bay Lightning Suspend Ian Cole Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

The Tampa Bay Lightning have suspended defenseman Ian Cole after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was a minor.

The accusations were made via a Twitter account that was made in September. The account only has one tweet and it’s the one accusing Cole.

The anonymous accuser says that Cole started grooming her when she was still a minor and he was playing in the NHL. She mentioned numerous alleged sexual encounters with Cole as well as patterns of misogynist behavior.

The accuser also claims that she was not the only girl that this had happened to and that another girl from the same high school had a similar experience with Cole.

She then places the blame on the National Hockey League, saying the league “fosters a culture of misogyny.”

The accuser does not mention when or where these alleged incidents occurred.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has reportedly said that the league is looking into these accusations.

Additionally, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they were suspending Cole, who signed a 1-year, $3 million deal with the team.

The Lightning released a statement on the matter, which was tweeted out by hockey insider Elliotte Friedman.

Ian Cole Denies Sexual Assault Allegations

Cole shared a statement on Sunday as well, saying he “completely” denies the allegations and will cooperate fully in the forthcoming investigation.

“I take the allegations made against me today in an anonymous tweet very seriously,” Cole said, via a statement released by his agent, Kevin Magnuson. “I look forward to clearing my name and demonstrating to the NHL and the Tampa Bay Lightning that these allegations are unfounded.”

Cole was drafted in the first round, 18th-overall in the 2007 NHL Draft. Since then he has played for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, and Carolina Hurricanes.

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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