The lawyer representing the woman who has accused Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane of sexual assault alleged at a press conference Wednesday that the evidence bag containing her rape kit was tampered with.
After the accusation, Erie County police said all of the evidence in the case is “accounted for in its original packaging.”
The woman has accused Kane of sexually assaulting her in his hometown of Hamburg, N.Y. on Aug. 2. Kane has denied the allegations. He has not been charged for the alleged rape.
Thomas Eoannou, the accuser's attorney, said the rape kit evidence bag was anonymously delivered to the accuser’s mother’s home and had been ripped open. He said he went to great lengths to confirm that the evidence bag was authentic. Eoannou added that “something seriously has gone amiss,” and he called for an independent investigation by the FBI or another law enforcement agency into the breach of evidence.
“In 30 years plus I have never seen an evidence bag outside a police lab, courtroom or legal office,” Eoannou said.
The Hamburg Police Department released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying they will “cooperate with any authorized investigation regarding the handling of evidence and the procedure.”
Hamburg Police says in statement that its handling of evidence and chain of custody "is unassailable" in Kane case.— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) September 23, 2015
Eoannou said that his client is determined for the truth to be revealed and that they hope criminal charges will be brought against Kane.
“She is devastated,” Eoannou said. “This is a classic example of why victims don’t come forward in rape cases. This is the worst example of victim bashing that I have seen.”
Wednesday was the first time Eoannou has spoken to the media about the case. The woman was not present at the press conference.
Kane's lawyer, Paul Cambria, spoke to the Chicago Tribune after the press conference regarding Eoannou's accusations.
Last week, Kane spoke at a press conference and said he had done nothing wrong and was “confident” he would be cleared.
“This has been incredibly difficult for many people,” Kane said. “I cannot apologize enough for the distraction this has caused my family, my team. While I have too much respect for the legal process to comment on an ongoing matter. I am confident that when all the facts come to light, I will be absolved.”
Kane is participating in training camp with the Blackhawks. Team president John McDonough said the team would respect the legal process. The Blackhawks have not punished Kane.
The grand jury hearing originally scheduled for Sept. 8 was delayed, reportedly to give attorneys for each party time to negotiate a settlement. Kane’s attorney, Paul Cambria, denied that any settlement talks took place. A date for a rescheduled grand jury has not been announced.
- Erin Flynn