Thomas J. Eoannou, the attorney for the woman accusing Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane of rape, announced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon that the accuser’s mother found the bag holding evidence from her daughter’s rape kit opened and sitting on her doorstep on Tuesday. According to the Chicago Tribune, Eoannou showed the media a photo of the bag that had the accuser’s name on it and the initials of the nurse who administered the test.
This is a serious accusation of tampering that could drastically alter the future of this investigation. Eoannou did not speculate on who could have tampered with the evidence, but emphasized that he had never seen anything like this in his 30 years as a lawyer.
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“If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to scuttle a prosecution, you tamper with evidence,” Eoannou told the media.
Eoannou said he will be looking into a separate investigation to find out how the evidence had been taken and tampered with.
Eoannou also said he has never settled a case throughout his career and that he is not the person to talk to about a settlement in this case.
This investigation, which started in the beginning of August at Kane’s offseason home in Hamburg, N.Y., continues to become more muddled. There has been no comment from Kane or the Blackhawks after this latest news. Kane’s lawyer, Paul Cambria, did comment about the most recent discovery.
(UPDATE: Cambria has now commented about the recent events. Per the Twitter account of Sarah Blazonis with Time Warner Cable News Buffalo, Cambria said the DNA evidence favors his client and team and that the party would have no reason to tamper with it.)
Kane played in Chicago’s preseason opener last night at the United Center and attended Chicago’s three-day training camp at the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Kane faced the media for the first time last Friday during a puzzling press conference. Kane made an opening statement and expressed confidence that he would be found innocent when it comes to this investigation, but that was about it.
“Once all the facts come to light, I am confident I will be absolved of having done nothing wrong,” Kane said.
That was about all Kane said, as he mentioned he had too much respect for the legal process to comment any further about the investigation. The Blackhawks’ brass then spoke, but would only answer questions related to hockey.
The Blackhawks are preparing to defend their third Stanley Cup in six seasons, and it appears they are committed to having Kane alongside them. It is unknown whether the recent developments and potential tampering with evidence will alter the franchise’s stance on one of its franchise players. Kane has yet to be charged with a crime.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly had nothing new to say about Kane’s status within the league or on his team. He said Kane’s status “remains unchanged.”
Nobody knows where this case could possibly be going. Tampering with evidence in such a high-profile case is a major development and can alter the outcome of this case.
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