Chicago Blackhawks wing Patrick Kane will not face rape charges due to a lack of “credible evidence,” ESPN.com reported Thursday. The decision was relayed by Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita. From the ESPN.com report:
“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,” Sedita wrote in a statement released Thursday. “Accordingly, the Office of the Erie County District Attorney will not present this matter to an Erie County Grand Jury.”
Among the reasons for dropping the case, Sedita said in the statement that there was “significant material inconsistencies” in the accounts of the accuser and other witnesses, and that physical evidence tended “to contradict” her claim that she was raped on Kane’s bed.
The news comes two days after the Buffalo News reported that Kane’s accuser was no longer cooperating with prosecutors. The woman cited a “tremendous stress for her and her family” as the reason.
In August, a 21-year-old woman accused Kane of raping her in his home. The accuser stated she accompanied a friend to Kane’s house after meeting him at a bar. While the accuser reportedly had bite marks and a scratch, no DNA was found in her “genital area or her undergarments.”
In September, Tom Eoannou, the attorney for the accuser, said the woman’s rape kit was anonymously delivered to her mother and seemingly tampered with. One day later, Eoannou dropped his client due to “misrepresentations… under which rape evidence bag was found.” Questions then arose over whether the accuser’s mother orchestrated a hoax involving the rape kit.
Despite the ongoing nature of the case—until now, that is—Kane remained active for the Blackhawks. In fact, the organization scheduled a Patrick Kane bobblehead night for January 24. Though Kane faced no charges and was not suspended by the NHL, it was an odd move to have the promotion at all.
With the case being dropped for a lack of evidence, the strangest story in the NHL over the last few months is, it would seem, officially over.