Stampeders draft pick Trivel Pinto announces retirement to fight sexual assault charge

Photo courtesy: Thunderbirds Athletics

Calgary Stampeders receiver Trivel Pinto has has retired from pro football, at least temporarily, in order to focus on fighting a sexual assault charge levelled at him earlier this month.

Pinto announced the decision with the following statement on Twitter.

“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. I want to thank the Calgary Stampeders organization for drafting me and I fully intend to fight and return to the field ASAP.”

The British Columbia Prosecution Service approved charges of sexual assault against Pinto and two of his University of British Columbia teammates on June 5, stemming from a 2018 incident.

Just before 4:30 a.m. on November 5, 2018, University Royal Canadian Mounted Police received a 911 call from a woman who reported she had been sexually assaulted by three men, at the residence in Vancouver on Acadia Road.

The University RCMP immediately launched an investigation and sought assistance and expertise from the BC RCMP Major Crime Section, who took conduct of the investigation.

Pinto was selected in the second round, 12th overall during the 2020 CFL draft and signed with the Stamps on January 8, 2021. In February 2019, he was suspended two years and bumped from the 2019 CFL Draft after testing positive for cocaine.

The Toronto native made 234 receptions for 3,324 yards and 30 touchdowns in 41 games over his four-year career (2015-2018) at UBC. Pinto was a first-team all-Canadian in both 2017 and 2018 and was a member of the Thunderbird’s Vanier Cup championship team in 2015.

Since charges were issued against Pinto, the Stampeders have issued only a short statement, leaving some to question whether there was a double standard in the CFL’s handling of violence against women. The receiver’s retirement now takes any decision out of the clubs hands.