(CBS) In a stunning sequence of events, the attorney for the woman who has accused Blackhawks star Patrick Kane of sexual assault said that the rape kit evidence bag that’s so critical to the case has been tampered with, while a lead Erie County official in western New York disputed the claim by saying all the original evidence is accounted for and properly sealed.
At a press conference in Buffalo early Wednesday afternoon, attorney Thomas Eoannou presented an empty evidence bag, showing that it had been ripped open. It was anonymously left on the doorstep of the accuser’s mother’s home and discovered Tuesday afternoon, Eoannou said. The evidence bag was confirmed to be authentic, as it was labeled with the alleged victim’s name, details on where the rape kit was used and the initials of the nurses who administered the kit, he said.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Winter Weather Advisories In Effect; Snow Arrives For Monday Morning Commute
“I have my grave concerns as to what’s going on here,” Eoannou said. “That’s why we went public with it. That’s why we’re asking for an independent investigation by a separate law enforcement agency. Something seriously has gone amiss.”
Later Wednesday afternoon, Erie County commissioner of Central Police Services John Glascott denied that any evidence had been mishandled or that the chain of custody had been broken.
“All evidence related to this case that was given to Erie County Central Police Services by the Town Of Hamburg Police Department is accounted for and remains in its original packaging in the possession of Erie County Central Police Services,” Glascott said in a statement. “This includes the evidence in the rape kit and the packaging itself.
“This evidence has been analyzed and reports of that analysis sent to the appropriate agencies.”
In response to the statement from the Erie County official, Eoannou told CBS 2 in an email, “No one disputes that CPS has the evidence that was given to them. They wouldn’t accept evidence of it wasn’t in an evidence bag. The big question is how would they know it is the “original” bag?”
At his press conference, Eoannou strongly denied a report that surfaced over the weekend that said Kane’s DNA wasn’t found in the accuser’s genital area or on her undergarments.
“We don’t know what was found where,” Eoannou said. “We have an evidence bag that was ripped open — something was either taken out of it or placed in another bag.