Rape kit tampering charge rocks Patrick Kane sexual assault case

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Greg Wyshynski
Rape kit tampering charge rocks Patrick Kane sexual assault case
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The lawyer for woman accusing Patrick Kane of sexual assault laid out incredible evidence tampering charges on Wednesday, after the rape kit administered to the woman was found on the doorstep of her mother’s home, opened and empty.

“In my 30 years plus of being both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, I have never seen an evidence bag outside of a police lab, a prosecutor’s office or a courtroom – let alone find one in the doorway of a rape victim mother’s home,” said attorney Thomas Eoannou, who called a press conference to ask for an independent law enforcement agency to investigate the breach.

The evidence bag was found at the home of the alleged victim’s mother, shoved between a storm door and the front door, on Tuesday afternoon. The legal team authenticated the bag with this hospital where the rape kit test was administered, with the initials of the nurse and the victim, as well as the victim’s personal information, on the bag.

The bag had been unsealed, and was empty.

Eoannou said the bag itself can be evidence, and that the “broken chain of custody” of the bag and its contents is a clear case of tampering with the prosecution of Kane.

“Something seriously has gone amiss,” said Eoannou. “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 case is in the hands of Erie County district attorney Frank Sedita III, who has yet to charge the Chicago Blackhawks star with a crime. Police had investigated Kane since an Aug. 2 incident at his home with an unidentified woman, who went to a local hospital afterwards for a rape examination.

Kane is currently attending Blackhawks training camp.

Kane's attorney addressed today's news, via the Chicago Tribune:

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Eoannou blasted media reports concerning DNA evidence about the case, saying those leaks and that sensitive information prevents rape cases from being prosecuted.

“This is the worst example of victim bashing I have seen,” he said, “and this is a classic example of why rape victims don’t come forward.”

There have been reports that a settlement could be reached between Kane and the alleged victim, but Eoannou said he “would hope very much that a criminal case is going forward.”

As for Kane speaking with the media about the case, such as it was, at Blackhawks camp?

“He’s entitled to his opinion,” he said, “but the most important thing is that this is a case about physical evidence and the rape kit bag as been tampered with.”

UPDATE: The Town of Hamburg Police Department issued the following statement:

"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.  That said, The Hamburg Police Department has documentation that unequivocally demonstrates that it's handling of the evidence and the integrity of it's 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."

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