Sexual assault charges have been stayed against three former members of the UBC Thunderbirds football team, including Ben Cummings of Abbotsford.
Cummings, 25, was charged with sexual assault in June 2021, as were his former Thunderbird teammates Treymont Levy, 27, and Trivel Pinto, 26.
Levy faced an additional charge of voyeurism.
The charges stemmed from an alleged incident at a Vancouver residence in 2018. Police reported that a woman had called 911 shortly before 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 5 of that year, claiming she had been sexually assaulted by three men.
The University RCMP launched an investigation, with assistance from the BC RCMP major crime section.
Dan McLaughlin of the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) confirmed Thursday (Jan. 26) that all charges were stayed Wednesday against the three men.
“The charges were stayed when the Crown counsel with conduct of the file concluded the charges no longer met the charge-assessment standard,” he said.
McLaughlin said among the considerations of Crown is whether there is a “substantial likelihood of conviction.”
He said this consideration can apply at any step of the case.
The BCPS does not provide the specific circumstances that lead to a decision to issue a stay of proceedings.
Cummings graduated from Abbotsford’s Robert Bateman Secondary in 2015 and attended the University of British Columbia from 2015 to 2019. He graduated from UBC’s Sauder School of Business in 2019.
Cummings was a star running back on the Robert Bateman Timberwolves senior varsity football program and had a strong career with the Thunderbirds.
He was named to the program’s all-decade team for the 2010s.
Pinto, a wide receiver, was chosen by the Calgary Stampeders 12th overall in the 2020 Canadian Football League draft.
The Toronto, Ont. native was also named to the Thunderbirds all-decade team for the 2010s and collected seven touchdowns in his final season with UBC in 2018.
Following the sexual assault charges, Pinto responded with a Twitter statement.
“I am announcing my retirement in order to focus on my personal situation with the intent of clearing my name so that I can return to the game that I love,” he wrote.
It is not yet clear whether he will return to pro football.
Levy, a defensive lineman from Coquitlam, played three seasons with the Thunderbirds from 2014 to 2017. He was involved in a clothing company with Pinto.
– with files from Ben Lypka