Patrick Kane won’t be criminally charged in rape case: Buffalo News

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CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 07:  Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks is introduced during a pregame ceremony honoring the 2015 NHL Champions before the Blackhawks take on the New York Rangers at the United Center on October 7, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 07: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks is introduced during a pregame ceremony honoring the 2015 NHL Champions before the Blackhawks take on the New York Rangers at the United Center on October 7, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Patrick Kane case is back in the spotlight.

It's been off the front pages since that remarkable 24 hours in late September when the complainant's lawyer abruptly quit after her mother’s tale about discovering an empty rape kit at her home – a claim that the lawyer called a press conference to discuss one day earlier – was discovered to have been “an elaborate hoax.” 

On Saturday night, the Buffalo News dropped a bombshell. According to three sources, “it appears no criminal charges will be filed against the Chicago Blackhawks hockey star,” the paper reported.

The three sources also said they do not believe the case will be presented to a grand jury. “This case is going nowhere,” one knowledgeable source told The Buffalo News when asked about the possibility of criminal charges.

“I was told … the case will be administratively dismissed” without being presented to a grand jury, a second knowledgeable source added.

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III postponed scheduled grand jury proceedings back on Sept. 8.  To the surprise of no one, he declined to confirm the Buffalo News report:

“I am waiting for the investigation to be completed to my satisfaction,” Sedita said, “and to confer with the assigned prosecutor, who is on her vacation six time zones away, before announcing anything further.”

Kane has been under investigation since Aug. 2, when a Buffalo area woman went to police with a claim that Kane raped her at his home in the early morning hours, after the two met at a bar earlier in the evening.

Over the next three months, the case crawled along but had several significant evidence leaks, including one involving DNA evidence. Then came the rape kit hoax, which at first threatened to derail the case based on evidence tampering but may have done so anyway for other reasons. 

Kane’s attendance at Blackhawks training camp was divisive and controversial, which included a farcical press conference. But support for Kane from a healthy portion of the Blackhawks fan base and team management never waned, and the NHL kept its hands out of the controversy. (Save for keeping Kane away from its World Cup of Hockey preseason event, a tournament that he promoted for the NHL at the all-star game.)

Kane has six goals and eight assists in 11 games this season.

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