It’s been an extremely strange week in regards to the sexual assault investigation into Chicago Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane. On Wednesday, the alleged victim’s lawyer held a press conference, alleging evidence tampering. On Thursday, he resigned.
During Wednesday’s press conference, attorney Thomas Eoannou presented a brown bag that was alleged to have contained the victim’s rape kit. He claimed it was found by the victim’s mother.
“Something seriously has gone amiss,” said Eoannou during the press conference. “All we know is that the rape kit bag, which has been authenticated, ended up on the doorstep of the victim’s mother’s house. God knows what happened to the evidence.”
The Hamburg Police Department vehemently denied anything wrong with the chain of custody concerning the rape kit in question. Then, on Thursday, another bombshell was dropped in the case. Eoannou recused himself from the case, stating that he no longer had “confidence in the way in which the bag was found.”
“I can only say that I don’t know what’s true and what’s not true,” said Eoannou. “I received the storyline from the mother. And it’s my position that I’m not comfortable with that version of the events.”
Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III would then hold a news conference on Friday. During which he said that the bag in question never contained the rape kit, as those are kept in boxes; and that the box was still in the custody of the authorities.
Instead, the bag in question was given to the victim’s mother at the hospital by a sexual assault nurse examiner, who requested that she put the alleged victim’s top from the night in question into it, as she had changed prior to going to the hospital.
“We believe the complainant’s mother has carried out an elaborate hoax,” said Sedita.
As of now, no motive has been given as to why the alleged victim’s mother would concoct such a story; nor has any light been shed on the amount of knowledge the alleged victim had of her mother’s actions. The mother cannot be charged, as it is “not a crime in the state of New York to make fraudulent representations to a private party.”
“This office is not responsible for this circus,” said Sedita.
It is still unclear on what affect that the latest developments will have on the case going forward. That being said, it certainly further casts a shadow of doubt on the alleged victim’s case. Paul Cambria, Kane’s attorney, had previously stated that none of his client’s DNA was found below that waist of the alleged victim; though the samples did contain “a mixture” of other male profiles.
“They tried to undermine the science in the case,” said Cambria. “That speaks volumes about the credibility of the (rape) allegation.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, multiple sources have said that the female friend that accompanied the alleged victim to Kane’s lakefront during the early morning hours of Aug. 2 no longer fully backs the alleged victim’s account of the events of that night; and is reluctant to testify on her behalf. Coupled with recent developments, whether or not Kane is ever charged in the case appears less and less certain.
“The question in my mind isn’t when this case goes to a grand jury ,” said Sedita, who traditionally hands the case over the Grand Jury even if he doesn’t intend to prosecute. “It’s if this case goes to a grand jury.”