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The rape case against Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks will not proceed, Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita announced on Thursday.
Via a statement, Sedita cited lack of credible evidence as the reason why the case will not go toward a grand jury.
“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. Accordingly, the Office of the Erie County District Attorney will not present this matter to an Erie County Grand Jury.”
The statement posted on the Erie County District Attorney’s Office website cited the following findings in their investigation:
• There are significant material inconsistencies between the complainant’s accounts and those of other witnesses.
• The DNA results lend no corroboration whatsoever to the complainant’s claim of penetration, a required element of proof for a rape charge.
• 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.
• Although Kane has exercised his constitutional right to remain silent (which prohibits questioning by law enforcement), he has made no known incriminating statements to any civilian, nor has he engaged in any conduct consistent with a consciousness of guilt.
Kane's camp, the Blackhawks and the NHL released separate statements on Thursday:
Patrick Kane: “I have repeatedly said that I did nothing wrong. I have respected the legal process and I am glad that this matter has now been closed and I will have nothing further to say going forward.”
Kane's agent, Pat Brisson: "We knew all along that Patrick didn't do anything wrong. We are pleased with the results from the investigation. It's finally concluded."
Chicago Blackhawks: "We respect the announcement today by the Erie County (N.Y.) District Attorney regarding Patrick Kane. The Chicago Blackhawks organization has taken this matter very seriously, and has tried to navigate a very sensitive situation while continually respecting the legal proceedings. At this time we will have no further comment.”
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly: “In light of the statement issued today by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, as an internal League matter, we intend to promptly review the information that may now be available to us. We will have no further comment until we have completed that review.”
On Tuesday, the Buffalo News reported that the complainant in the case said that the stress of the investigation caused her to decide to not cooperate with authorities.
The Blackhawks forward has been under investigation since Aug. 2, when the woman claimed Kane raped her at his Hamburg, N.Y. home after the two met at a bar earlier in the evening.
Since the investigation began it has been rife with leaks, including one involving DNA evidence. In September, there was the rape kit “hoax” that Sedita claimed was pulled off by the complainant’s mother when she found an empty evidence bag in her home. After that, Thomas Eoannou, who represented the woman, recused himself fromt he case saying he no longer believed the mother’s story.
The complainant’s new attorney, Roland Cercone, declined to say to the Buffalo News whether the woman and her family would be filing a civil suit against Kane. According to the Chicago Tribune, Kane's lawyer, Paul Cambria, believes she will after she hired a lawyer who works with personal injury cases.
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