Chance Macdonald, the hockey player who assaulted a girl, and Allan Letourneau, the judge who didn’t want it to affect Chance’s chances at success

by Joey deVilla on September 2, 2017

Side-by-side photos - Chance Macdonald: Assaulted a teenage girl at a house party, and 'Justice' Allan Letourneau: Didn't want the incident to affect Chance's internship and future.

The next time some know-nothing tells you that there’s no such thing as rape culture (such as this former pro hockey player who’s somehow teaching junior players about consent or this podcast with an author of books with some good insights on how boys are being left behind), point them to this latest but of counter-evidence: a judge in Canada delayed the already-downgraded sentence (from sexual assault and forcible confinement down to common assault) of a hockey player so that it wouldn’t affect his internship at Deloitte or his future.

Chance Macdonald is student at Queen’s University, considered to be one of the “Canadian Ivy League” and also my alma mater (I often refer to it a “Crazy Go Nuts University”, a term of endearment from some oddball, fun, colorful academic career there). In Canada, if you’re going after a 6-plus-figure career, Queen’s is one of the schools you go to, especially for their School of Business. Chance also played Junior A hockey (similar to Tier II hockey in the U.S.), which for many aspiring players is only two steps away from their ultimate goal: playing in the NHL. Once again, in Canada, hockey players in school enjoy the same stature as football players in U.S. schools.

Justice Allan Letourneau is a Queen’s grad, and he was also a junior hockey player in his youth. It appears that his abiding loyalty to Queen’s and hockey overtook his obligation to justice when sentencing Chance.

Here’s what Vice reports:

Chance Macdonald, 22, pleaded guilty to common assault in April after he was initially charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement following a 2015 party. Crown attorney Gerard Laarhuis said Macdonald’s victim accepted the lesser plea in part because she didn’t want to face a trial and the possibility of being disbelieved in court.

According to the Kingston Whig-Standard, Macdonald, then a player on Gananoque Islanders Junior C hockey team, wasn’t sentenced until last week because his lawyer argued a criminal record would ruin his four-month internship, which he needed to continue on as a Queen’s business student. Despite the Crown’s protests that the victim deserved closure, Justice Allan Letourneau sided with the defence and waited until last week to hand down Macdonald’s sentence of 88 days of intermittent jail on weekends and two years of probation.

He said the plea deal was “the right way to go in all respects.” He praised Macdonald on his excellence “in employment, in athletics, and in academics.” He noted, “I played extremely high-end hockey and I know the mob mentality that can exist in that atmosphere.” He told Macdonald he had significant confidence that “you will almost certainly never put yourself in this situation again,” describing the assault as a “fork in the road.”

On the flip side, most of Justice Letourneau’s warnings to Macdonald seemed to focus on how the business student may have ruined his future prospects.

“It all could have come crashing down on you,” he noted. Regarding the lesser assault plea, he said, “Good luck finding any meaningful employment with a sexual conviction on your record.”

Brock Turner's po-face mug shot.

If all this sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’re reminded of the case of Brock Turner, the weaselly judge who oversaw his case and who was more concerned about Turner’s future than that of the person he assaulted, and the horrible things Turner’s friends and family have said in his defense.

This is what we mean by rape culture: the fact that when a man, especially one from a well-off family, commits sexual assault on a woman, there’s a tendency — even in this modern day and age, when we should know better — to focus on how it will affect the man’s future than how it will affect the woman’s. And, in case I have to point it out, that is wrong.

To their credit, Deloitte Canada, where Chance had his internship, made this statement:

No statement has yet been issued by Queen’s University or its Smith School of Business. As an alumnus, I’m waiting…

Hey, Canadian businesspeople: You may want to check Chance’s LinkedIn page — Chance was very enterprising and has over 500 LinkedIn connections (a few people I know are connected via LinkedIn to him). You probably want dissolve that connection; if not for ethical reasons, at least for the pragmatic one of distancing yourself from this walking public relations nightmare. Here’s how you remove a LinkedIn connection.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlie September 2, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Hey FYI,
This kid graduated Groton school in MA, USA. Tuition is approx 68,000 CAD…

Basis for staying the conviction/punishment through summer was because it could jeopardize his ability to pay for Queens tuition (approx 8000).

Jus sayin….

Jack September 3, 2017 at 10:35 pm

Hey Joey! If you’re interested I started a petition on change.org about this. I’ve put a link to it in the “Website” field. If you’d be so kind as to sign and share, that’d be great!

Cheers!

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