Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane has been under investigation for sexual assault after an offseason incident in Buffalo, but the case has made even bigger headlines for all the twists and turns it had taken of late.
The incident began last month after Kane reportedly met a woman at a bar and brought her back to his home to attend a private party. The pair traveled to Kane’s home and eventually had intercourse, but that’s where the stories diverge. Kane said the sex was consensual, but the woman claims that she was overpowered and sexually assaulted.
Cases involving high profile athletes always make national news, but the case has taken a few odd turns during the investigation. On Wednesday, Tom Eoannou, the attorney representing the woman in the case, held an abrupt press conference. Some speculated that the prosecution was going to announce an end to the investigation, but nobody expected Eoannou to pass out pictures of a paper bag. The pictures were of an evidence bag that once contained the rape kit at the center of the investigation, and Eoannou said the bag was found in the doorway of the victim’s mother’s home.
“In my 30-years-plus of being both a prosecutor and a defense attorney,” he said, “I have never seen an evidence bag outside a police lab, a prosecutor’s office, or a courtroom — let alone find one in the doorway of a rape victim’s mother’s home.”
The bag was supposed to remain in tact with a clear chain of custody, but it’s presence outside of the crime lab draws questions as to the sanctity of the physical evidence collected from the kit.
Attorney Backs Out
The victim’s attorney actually thanked the person who delivered the kit to the mother’s house, suggesting that a “good Samaritan” may have left the bag to alert the family that something shady might be happening behind the scenes. It’s just one interpretation into why the bag may have arrived at the home.
But the case took another odd turn yesterday, as the attorney, who just one day earlier announced the evidence leak, held a press conference to announce that he was “withdrawing from the case,” saying that he “no longer has confidence in the story given to me.”
“I do not believe the way in which it was explained to me was the manner in which it was found,” Eoannou said. “I have looked into that and I do not have confidence in that version of the events.”
A source close to the situation said a key witness in the prosecution’s case is reluctant to testify, while Kane’s attorney said DNA from below the victim’s waist contained a mixture of male profiles, none of which belonged to Kane. His attorney said the hockey player may sue the woman for defamation once his innocence is proven.
Related source: Grantland, USA Today