If you’re confused as to what is going on regarding the rape investigation surrounding Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, don’t worry. You’re not in the minority. Over the last few weeks, we’ve learned:
— There was supposed to be a grand jury hearing to determine whether Kane would be charged with a crime;
— That grand jury hearing was initially postponed for reasons not totally known;
— A short time after the postponement, it was reported Kane attorneys and Kane’s accuser were trying to work out a settlement to avoid a potential future trail;
— Anddddd then Scott Levin of WGRZ in Buffalo essentially denied that the sides were working on a deal and that the grand jury hearing would be rescheduled (it had been reported by other outlets that the hearing would be rescheduled).
Up until today, Kane news had decreased to almost nothing following all of the above confusion. This morning, however, we learned that Kane’s name was on the Blackhawks’ training camp roster ahead of the camp’s opening Friday, and that there will be a news conference Thursday afternoon (2 p.m.) to discuss the situation.
Now, the Chicago Tribune has quite a bit more on the Kane investigation and potential for a settlement in the case. There’s a good bit to digest, and while a different media source could easily come out down the road saying some or all of what the Tribune has reported is incorrect, it’s what we’ve got for now as far as an update.
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According to multiple anonymous sources who spoke with the Tribune, discussions between the two parties involved in the accusations are still discussing a settlement, with both the accuser and Kane apparently identifying as the wronged party. As one source is quoted: “Each of them has threatened to walk away and just let the justice system take care of it. They both say the truth is on their side.”
This is a very interesting quote, and if it’s from a reliable source, it could mean this situation will continue through the Blackhawks’ 2015-16 season. Of course, that could change depending on the outcome of a grand jury hearing, which the Tribune also confirmed will still happen later this month barring a settlement, according to Kane’s primary lawyer, Paul Cambria. The attorney did not specify a date for the grand jury hearing’s occurrence.
The next important thing to note is that the grand jury hearing was the choice of the Erie County District Attorney’s prosecutor and not at the request of either party involved in the accusations, according to the Tribune’s sources.
Furthermore, there’s this interesting point regarding the potential for a settlement:
Settlements typically include clauses that would prohibit accusers from voluntarily cooperating with the investigation, according to legal experts. The standard clause, however, would not bar prosecutors from continuing with their case or prevent the woman from answering questions under oath if prosecutors took the rare step of proceeding without her cooperation.
What this boils down to is, the rape investigation could continue even if a settlement is reached, though it’s unlikely that would occur. The reasons for that are explained toward the end of this Tribune article.
Two quotes of interest also stand out:
“For Pat Kane, there is no downside to a settlement. For the accuser, there are some upsides too. She doesn’t have to relive this again and again in court. Once it’s done, it’s done.” — Alan Bedenko, a civil litigation attorney in Buffalo who is not affiliated with the case.
“Obviously Patrick would like to be on the ice playing hockey, have this all be put behind him. That’s the goal. That’s what we’re all working toward.” — Paul Cambria, Kane’s lawyer
The first quote offers the reason for both sides to settle, in a nutshell. The second is just the sound of a man who believes his client is innocent, or at least he’s trying to convey that feeling.
So, now we’re led to believe the two sides are indeed working on a settlement, and that the grand jury hearing could still go on. We’ll learn even more about what’s going on between Kane and the Blackhawks on Thursday during the afternoon press conference. But overall, all you can say is: what a mess.
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