Remember when Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane arriving at training camp and holding that awkward press conference was at the forefront of our thoughts? Well, that’s all over now thanks to what has been a sad, ridiculous and embarrassing day for all involved with Kane’s rape investigation.
The day started with Thomas J. Eoannou, the attorney for Kane’s female accuser, holding a 14-minute press conference in which he told media members that the rape kit of his client was left unsealed on the porch of the accuser’s mother Tuesday. While it has not been confirmed that this big is what Eoannou says it is, media members were shown a bag that had an individual’s name — reportedly the accuser’s — on it and the initials of the nurse who administered the rape kit.
“If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to scuttle a prosecution, you tamper with evidence,” Eoannou told the media.
Since Eoannou’s presser, several parties have spoken on the apparently tampered-with evidence. Let’s start with the police department in Hamburg, N.Y., where the rape alleged against Kane took place. The Hamburg Police at this point look like an absolute joke of a law enforcement force, and this message on the department’s Facebook page is only furthering that view:
John Glascott, Erie County Central Police Services Commissioner, followed up with the following statement:
So Glascott and Hamburg police are essentially refuting Eoannou’s claim that the rape kit was dropped on the doorstep of the accuser’s mother, though they’ve yet to provide physical evidence that the rape kit is still in possession of either the Erie County Central Police Services or the Hamburg department.
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It’s an absolute mess that isn’t about to be cleared up, because law enforcement isn’t about to step out into the public eye with someone’s rape kit to confirm they actually do have it.
On top of all of this are comments from Kane’s main lawyer, Paul Cambria. While Cambria has offered little comment throughout the case’s proceedings thus far, he’s had plenty to say today. We turn to the Chicago’s Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair for some of the “highlights” of Cambria’s media discussions this afternoon:
Cambria pointed out during his media discussion today that the potential tampering of evidence is a big issue for Kane’s rights when it comes to legal proceedings.
Cambria’s quotes about starting “the smoke” and Eoannou’s action’s possibly being a “tremendous backfire” speak loudest to me. They sound like words coming from someone who is trying to say the accuser’s party didn’t like where this case was going, so they blew it up to try and cause problem’s for Kane. This is what Cambria does as an attorney — he makes you think the other side is wrong — but it doesn’t make things any clearer for those watching from a distance.
Capping the mess of quotes from individuals with a stake in this investigation is NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly:
An interesting viewpoint, for sure, but it’s clear at this moment that the NHL is leaving how it handles Kane being on league ice up to the Chicago Blackhawks. The NHL clearly doesn’t want to jump the gun on punishing a star player, especially when the league is already the bad guy in the eyes of fans for past situations (i.e. the three lockouts in recent memory).
So what did we learn today? That this case went from nightmare to nightmare disaster, that no one directly involved can agree on what is going on in the case and that we’re just going to have to tolerate the noise this creates as the 2015-16 regular season begins. Who knows what today’s events actually mean for the future of the rape investigation, the future of a grand jury hearing and the future of Kane playing hockey. It’s become impossible to guess with this case anymore, and I feel gross trying to guess things about it anyway.