BUFFALO (CBS) — Citing “significant material inconsistencies,” prosecutors in western New York on Thursday ended their investigation into allegations that Blackhawks star Patrick Kane sexually assaulted a woman in his home over the summer.
“The totality of the credible evidence – the proof – does not sufficiently substantiate the complainant’s allegation that she was raped by Patrick Kane and this so-called ‘case’ is rife with reasonable doubt,” Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita wrote in a statement released Thursday morning. “Accordingly, the Office of the Erie County District Attorney will not present this matter to an Erie County Grand Jury.”
In the statement, Sedita provided more reasoning.
“The DNA results lend no corroboration whatsoever to the complainant’s claim of penetration, a required element of proof for a rape charge,” the statement said.
“The physical evidence and the forensic evidence, when viewed in tandem, tend to contradict the complainant’s claim that she was raped on Kane’s bed.”
A woman who Kane, 26, partied with on the night of Aug. 1 said Kane raped her at his upstate New York home near Buffalo in the early morning hours of Aug. 2. Previous reports from the Buffalo News had said that it was unlikely that Kane would face criminal charges and that the woman who has accused Kane wasn’t cooperating with the investigation.
Sedita confirmed that the accuser “has decided that she does not with to go forward with a criminal prosecution.”
Kane never spoke to investigators throughout the case. Regarding that, Sedita said, “He has made no known incriminating statements to any civilian, nor has he engaged in any conduct consistent with a consciousness of guilt.”
Previously, the DNA found in the samples from below the accuser’s waist were found to have come from more than one male, according to reports, and Kane’s attorney, Paul Cambria, said none of the DNA was Kane’s.
It’s within the NHL’s power to still suspend Kane under a conduct clause, though that appears unlikely. To date, the league has approved of how the Blackhawks have handled the situation.
Kane’s accuser could still file a civil lawsuit against Kane. She has hired an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The case has been full of twists and turns. On Sept. 23, the original attorney for the accuser, Thomas Eoannou, held a press conference in Buffalo in which he claimed the the rape kit evidence bag had been tampered with.
“I have my grave concerns as to what’s going on here,” Eoannou said.
Erie County officials in western New York immediately disputed the claim by saying all the original evidence was accounted for and properly sealed.
A day later, Eoannou dropped his client and walked back his claim that evidence had been tampered with. He didn’t go into detail.
Through the team, Kane released a short statement later Thursday, saying, “I did nothing wrong” and that he was “glad” the case was over. The Blackhawks also reiterated their support for him.
On Sept. 25, Sedita held a press conference in which he revealed the accuser’s mother had engaged in an “elaborate hoax” to make it look like evidence had been tampered with. Sedita made clear all the evidence was properly handled and accounted for.
On the ice, Kane has continued to be a standout. He has 18 points — eight goals, 10 assists — in 13 games. His points total is third in the NHL.
Chicago next plays at New Jersey on Friday. That will likely be the first time Kane publicly addresses the end of the criminal case, as the Blackhawks don’t practice Thursday.