Abbotsford’s Ben Cummings has been identified as one of three former members of the UBC Thunderbirds football team who have been charged with sexual assault in relation to an alleged incident at a Vancouver residence in 2018.
A woman called 911 shortly before 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 5 of that year, claiming she’d been sexually assaulted by three men.
The University RCMP launched an investigation and sought assistance and expertise from the BC RCMP Major Crime Section.
The others charged with sexual assault are Treymont Levy, 26, and Trivel Pinto, 25. Levy faces an additional charge of voyeurism. B.C. Prosecution Service approved charges against the men this month.
Cummings, 24, graduated from Abbotsford’s Robert Bateman Secondary School in 2015 and attended the University of British Columbia from 2015 to 2019. He graduated from UBC’s Sauder School of Business in 2019, several months after the woman reported the sexual assault incident.
#TBirdNation .. congratulations to our latest group of @UBCSauderSchool graduates .. they have their ring .. their piece of paper .. they are ready for the corporate world .. pic.twitter.com/80H5Tld39L
— Blake Nill (@CoachNill) May 30, 2019
In his now-deleted LinkedIn profile, Cummings stated that he was a volunteer for UBC’s SafeWalk program from April 2016 to April 2019. According to the profile, he “assisted students and members of the community home safely by creating a safe and comfortable environment.”
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 recently named to the program’s all-decade team for the 2010s.
He had spent the last two years working for a commercial real estate agency in Vancouver. His website profile with the company has been removed since the charges were made public.
Pinto, a wide receiver, was chosen by the Calgary Stampeders 12th overall in the 2020 Canadian Football League draft. The Stampeders provided this statement to The News – “The Calgary Stampeders are aware of the situation involving Trivel Pinto and are currently gathering additional information. As this is an ongoing legal matter, the team does not have further comment.”
"It means a lot. It's a childhood dream, for me, come true. I've been waiting on this day for so long, I'm very happy that it's here."
— Calgary Stampeders (@calstampeders) May 4, 2020
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.
On Oct. 27, 2018, Pinto tested positive for the presence of cocaine, a prohibited stimulant. As a result, he received a two-year ban for an anti-doping violation. He was ineligible for the 2019 CFL draft and he was unable to participate in any sport compliant with the Canadian Anti-Doping Program.
Levy, a defensive lineman from Coquitlam, was also a volunteer with the university’s SafeWalk program. He is involved in a local fashion clothing company, as is Pinto.
The News reached out to the UBC Investigations Office and UBC media relations and both referred to an earlier statement made by Ainsley Carry, the vice-president of students.
“UBC Athletics and the university are shocked and saddened by the allegations,” she stated. “I can tell you those accused are no longer students at the university.”
Statement regarding charges against former UBC athleteshttps://t.co/mMFH3hhEpF
— UBC Thunderbirds (@ubctbirds) June 5, 2021
The allegations have not yet been proven in court.
The case involving the former UBC football players is scheduled to return to Richmond provincial court June 16.