The case involving sexual assault charges against NHL superstar Patrick Kane took a bizarre twist today as the attorney for the alleged victim says the evidence bag containing the rape kit was left at the front door of the woman’s mother’s house.
Kane, a star member of the world champion Chicago Blackhawks, was accused on August 2 of assaulting a woman in his summer home. The case is currently before a grand jury.
The lawyer for a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said Wednesday that an empty evidence bag was improperly left in the doorway of the woman’s mother’s home.
Thomas Eoannou said the bag at one point contained the rape kit used when the woman reported that she had been assaulted.
“Something seriously has gone amiss,” Eoannou said.
Eoannou said the mother made the bizarre discovery when she came home from work for lunch on Tuesday afternoon. She found the bag folded up between a storm door and her front door, he said.
“It could have been there a day and a half,” he said, because the woman used the back door when she left for work that morning.
He said the bag is authentic, labeled with personal identifying information for the woman, details on where the rape kit was used and the initials of the nurses who administered the kit.
“I have never seen an evidence bag outside of a police lab, a prosecutor’s office or a court room, let alone find one in a doorway of a rape victim’s mother’s home,” he said.
Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita did not immediately return a message seeking comment from The Associated Press.
The Hamburg Police Department, which has been conducting the investigation, released a statement later Wednesday on its Facebook page, claiming that its handling of the evidence has been “unassailable.”
“In regard to the information conveyed today by Mr. Thomas Eoannou, the Hamburg Police Department will cooperate with any authorized investigation regarding the handling of evidence and the procedure of such,” the statement said. “That said, The Hamburg Police Department has documentation that unequivocally demonstrates that its handling of the evidence and the integrity of its chain of custody of evidence in this case is unassailable. As is policy with active investigations, there will be no further comment regarding this situation.”
The bag was empty, which means either the rape kit has disappeared or someone created a second bag. The chain of evidence is absolutely critical, as we saw in the O. J. Simpson case. Any doubts regarding tampering with evidence could be the difference between an innocent and guilty verdict in a trial.
The police swear their custody of the evidence is “unassailable.” That might be a difficult position to maintain if the evidence bag currently containing the rape kit is found to be problematic.