Those of you who were hoping the rape investigation involving Chicago Blackhawks star winger Patrick Kane would be wrapped up by the start of the 2015-16 season likely won’t be happy with today’s news. But we do have a new development in the situation nonetheless.
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According to multiple sources, a friend of the woman who is accusing Kane of raping her in his Hamburg, N.Y., home last month will be called to testify before a grand jury Tuesday. That friend, also a woman, was with the accuser and Kane before they went to and while they were at Kane’s home, and she reportedly called the police after the alleged rape occurred.
WGRZ in Buffalo contacted former Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark, who said the grand jury process could take “weeks or even months” to play out. The Erie County District Attorney’s office is leading the investigation into the allegation against Kane.
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Clark went on to say: “Right now, it looks at though the decider as to whether or not Patrick Kane is guilty of any criminal conduct or not will be an Erie County grand jury.”
Now, I’m no expert in the happenings of law enforcement, but don’t take this to mean that the accuser’s friend will go in front of a grand jury, and then the jury will come to a conclusion on whether or not Kane should be charged with a crime. The grand jury will need to look at all evidence relevant to the investigation to make that decision, and that could involve speaking with more individuals who have some level of involvement in what allegedly happened last month.
For those of you not privy to the workings of the judicial system, here’s an explanation of what a grand jury is, from a publication out of the University of Dayton.
Probably the key thing to note here is these two sentences:
“Grand juries don’t decide if someone is guilty of criminal charges that have been brought against them. Grand juries listen to evidence and decide if someone SHOULD be charged with a crime.”
Another important takeaway from the Dayton article is that grand juries can sit for up to 36 months at a time, although how long a grand jury can or will sit also depends on the state it has been convened in.
It’s likely we’ll learn a little more about what allegedly happened last August in Hamburg when the accuser’s friend goes in front of the grand jury, unless the Erie County District Attorney’s office is able to keep everything under heavy wraps and away from the media. Outlets such as The Buffalo News seem to have law enforcement sources in the area, however, so keeping the witness’ testimony hush-hush may prove difficult.
Regardless, it’s another step toward better understanding what we’re dealing with in this saga.
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