Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane is being investigated by police for the alleged sexual assault of a woman in the Buffalo, New York, suburb of Hamburg on Aug. 2, as first reported by Tim Graham, Dan Herbeck and Lou Michel of the Buffalo News.
According to John Wawrow of the Associated Press (via the Edmonton Journal), the woman is believed to be in her 20s.
Kane's agent, Pat Brisson, stood by his client on Sept. 8, per Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com: "I totally believe [Kane]. He's always been honest with me. I've known him for a long time. I've been doing this a long time as a sports agent. You get to know people and get to know the character of an individual. Spending more time with Patrick over this situation, I do believe he is innocent."
On Sept. 24, the attorney for Kane's accuser dropped her as a client, citing a lack of confidence in information he had received regarding rape-kit evidence being tampered with.
Continue for updates.
Kane Accuser's Attorney Releases Statement
Saturday, Sept. 26
“For the record, no one has asked to speak to the complainant regarding the latest incident," attorney Roland M. Cercone said in a letter to the Buffalo News (via Herbeck). "I suspect this is so because their investigation has already revealed that she had no knowledge of—or anything to do with—this entire fiasco.
However, should the district attorney wish to speak with my client, she is ready, willing, and able to cooperate, as she has always done throughout this investigation. I reiterate: never has my client refused to speak or cooperate with the District Attorney’s Office when asked to do so. Anytime the district attorney has asked her to come to his office, she has cooperated fully. Now is no exception."
Kane Comments on Allegations
Saturday, Sept. 26
"I don't really have anything to say about what transpired over the past, whatever it's been, 72 hours," Kane said, according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times. "My focus is here. There's still plenty of things that are obviously going on away from the rink that keep your attention."
Kane further downplayed the events of the last three days and reiterated his stance regarding the charges. According to Lazerus, Kane said:
That’s all speculation and assumptions. Obviously, I believe what I said, and I think that’s been reiterated many times by not only myself, but my lawyer, as well. But what’s going to actually happen is just speculation, so I don’t know. I don’t know what comes next.
Kane said fans and family have been "great" during the investigation (via Lazerus) and noted the team had been very supportive as well. "Everyone's kind of stuck with me through the whole thing," Kane continued (via Lazerus). "The support's been huge throughout this past couple of months." He added that while he feels he's slightly behind from an on-ice standpoint, "it's starting to come around."
"Once all the facts come to light, I am confident I will be absolved of having done [anything] wrong," Kane said, per Frank Seravalli of TSN on Sept. 17.
"I cannot apologize enough for the distraction this has caused my family, teammates, this incredible organization and our fans," he continued (via Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News).
Erie County DA Comments on Investigation
Friday, Sept. 25
Erie County DA Frank Sedita said the "accuser's mother engaged in elaborate hoax. Sins of [the] mother [will] not [be] visited on [the] daughter, unless [the] daughter was involved. [We're] not there yet," per Julie DiCaro of 670 The Score.
Sedita, per DiCaro, noted that he will continue to look into whether the mother can be charged, but he doesn't believe what she did is illegal.
As for the next step, Sedita believes, per DiCaro, that this case isn't guaranteed to go to a grand jury.
Victim's Lawyer Drops Client
Thursday, Sept. 24
Attorney Thomas Eoannou no longer had confidence in the information received that led him to believe the rape-kit evidence was tampered with, according to CBS Chicago.
“I don’t have confidence in the version that was provided to me,” stated Eoannou when talking about the story he received in regard to the rape kit. Eoannou clarified that the recent development doesn't reflect upon what occurred on the night in question or call into question the accuser's claims against Kane.
Patrick Kane's attorney Paul Cambria added, per Charlie Roumeliotis of CSN Chicago, "I think the integrity of the investigation is forever tainted."
Stacy St. Clair of the Chicago Tribune reported Cambria said, "I have nothing that demonstrates this bag is the bag."
The Hamburg Police Department provided a statement on the new development on Facebook:
In regard to the information conveyed today by Mr. Thomas Eoannou, the Hamburg Police Department will cooperate with any authorized investigation regarding the handling of evidence and the procedure of such. That said, The Hamburg Police Department has documentation that unequivocally demonstrates that its handling of the evidence and the integrity of its chain of custody of evidence in this case is unassailable. As is policy with active investigations, there will be no further comment regarding this situation.
Kane to Play in Blackhawks Preseason Opener
Monday, Sept. 21
Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reported Kane will "likely" be on the ice Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings in the first preseason game of the Blackhawks' season.
On Sept. 16, Lazerus reported Kane was on the Blackhawks' training camp roster.
DNA Test Results Spark Questions
Saturday, Sept. 19
Herbeck and Michel reported the latest development surrounding Kane's investigation:
DNA evidence does not confirm a woman’s allegations that Patrick Kane raped her, four sources familiar with the case told The Buffalo News."
DNA tests taken from a rape kit conducted on the woman showed no trace of Kane’s DNA was found in the woman’s genital area or on her undergarments.
The lack of that DNA evidence does not necessarily mean a sexual assault did not occur, legal experts say, and the evidence involved in this type of investigation typically consists of more than just DNA. The investigation continues, and Kane has not been charged with any crime.
Authorities are examining other evidence trying to determine what happened between Kane and the woman at Kane’s lakeshore home in the Town of Hamburg early on the morning of Aug. 2.
Kane's Grand Jury Postponed
Tuesday, Sept. 8
Michel reported the postponement may be because of settlement talks between Kane's lawyer and the alleged victim's attorneys.
On Sept. 4, Herbeck, Michel and Graham reported that an Erie County grand jury would begin hearing evidence in the case the following week, after which they would vote on whether or not there is enough evidence to warrant a criminal charge against Kane.
Kane Reportedly Meets with Investigators
Tuesday, Aug. 25
Michel reported Kane met with investigators regarding the case, although his sources were unclear on whom the forward met with:
One source said an investigator with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office met with Kane, while the second source said an investigator with the DA’s Office and a detective with the Hamburg Police Department met with the hockey player. Both said the meeting occurred in the presence of Kane’s attorney.
One source said it took place at the office of Kane’s attorney, Paul Cambria.
Off-Duty Cop Was Kane's Driver on Night of Alleged Rape
Saturday, Aug. 15
Off-duty Buffalo police lieutenant Thomas English served as Kane's chauffeur the night the alleged rape occurred, according to Graham, Herbeck and Michel, who added English was interviewed by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office already. The report added:
Law enforcement sources told The News that Buffalo police are conducting an internal investigation to determine whether English was with Kane at any time he was supposed to be on duty the night of the alleged rape. Authorities said English was scheduled to work a half-shift that night at the police cell block and took a half-shift off on that night as personal leave time. English said he took the entire shift off with personal leave time.
Details Surface of Alleged Sexual Assault
Thursday, Aug. 13
Graham reported the alleged victim went to Kane's house to accompany a friend:
“They were at SkyBar, and Kane invited them to his home. Her friend really wanted to go to Kane’s house, and she didn’t want her friend to go there alone,” a friend of the woman told The Buffalo News. “It wasn’t her idea to go there.”
Two other sources who are familiar with the Kane rape allegation – a law enforcement official and a member of Buffalo’s legal community – gave similar information to The News about what led the alleged victim to go to Kane’s residence.
"Sources with knowledge of the investigation said that the young woman who has accused the hockey superstar of rape had bite marks on her shoulders and a scratch on her leg after the alleged attack," reported Herbeck and Michel on Aug. 9, who continued:
The woman alleges that Kane invited her and a female friend to his home for a private party after they met him last Saturday night at SkyBar, a popular nightclub on Franklin Street, the sources said.
Shortly after she and her friend arrived at Kane’s home on Old Lakeshore Road, the accuser alleges that she went by herself into another room, where Kane followed her, overpowered her and raped her, the sources said.
The woman left Kane’s home with her friend and used a cellphone to call a relative immediately after the alleged attack. She then went to a local hospital for examination, and police were called afterward, the sources said.
The alleged attack occurred about 4 a.m. last Sunday, about an hour after Kane was seen leaving SkyBar.
Blackhawks Owner Comments on Kane Investigation
Monday, Aug. 10
Wirtz's comments are in line with the team statement released on Aug. 6, Lazerus: "We are aware of the matter and are in the process of gathering information. It would be inappropriate to comment further."
Kane Hires Lawyer After Investigation Officially Confirmed
Saturday, Aug. 8
Paul Cambria confirmed he has been retained as legal counsel by Kane, according to Wawrow (h/t the Globe and Mail). Wawrow noted the lawyer also represented Kane during his 2009 assault case.
Jill Perkins of WKBW in Buffalo passed along the official statement from chief Gregory Wickett of Hamburg police regarding the investigation on Aug. 7:
NHL Notified of Kane's Investigation
Thursday, Aug. 6
Adam Benigni of WGRZ in Buffalo reported the NHL is aware of the investigation and is monitoring the situation.
The Buffalo-born Kane has enjoyed a spectacular career thus far as a four-time All-Star, three-time Stanley Cup winner and one-time Conn Smythe Trophy recipient in just eight NHL seasons.
Kane's on-ice accomplishments, however, have at times been overshadowed by his off-ice conduct. In 2009, for instance, he and his cousin pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after allegedly assaulting a Buffalo cab driver.
Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville discussed Kane's continued growth as a person in February, per Kuc, saying, "He has matured [more] as an individual and as a player every year."
Kane played in 61 regular-season games in 2014-15, registering 27 goals and 37 assists before helping Chicago win the Stanley Cup.
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