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Why The Patrick Kane Rape Investigation Could Drag On For Months

By Kate Shepherd in News on Aug 25, 2015 9:00PM

Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks lifts the Stanley Cup trophy during the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Rally (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Blackhawks star Patrick Kane recently met with investigators in upstate New York as a part of the ongoing rape investigation against him, the Buffalo News reported—news that signals the investigation is continuing on, in some ways. Kane's attorney with a penchant for Facebook squabbles, Paul Cambria, was present for the meeting.

Kane is accused of raping a woman at his Hamburg home on Aug. 2. After leaving his house, she reportedly went to a hospital, where a rape kit was administered.

One of the newspaper's sources said Kane met with an investigator from the Erie County (New York) District Attorney's Office. A second source said a DA's office investigator and a detective from the Hamburg (New York) Police Department met with Kane. And Hamburg police requested investigative help from the DA's office the day the accusation was made because of the high profile and sensitive nature of the case, sources told the Buffalo News.

Fans who are anxiously waiting to hear whether Kane will be charged with a crime or allowed to play in the upcoming 2015/2016 season shouldn't hold their breath. It's not uncommon for rape investigations to last for months or even years, experts tell us.

"I'm sure the celebrity status of this case is not making the wheels of this case turn faster," Sean Black, a spokesman for the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said in an interview.

There will be a lot of scrutiny around the Kane case no matter what, so the investigators have to make sure they paying close attention to every detail, he said. They also have to track down all the people involved for interviews.

The time lag on getting the rape kit from the hospital to the laboratory and then waiting for the lab results could be holding things up too, he said. Black said he's not aware of a huge backlog of rape kits at labs in New York, but it is a major problem in many jurisdictions.

Since the case is based in New York State, there might be different legal procedures as well, he said.

Under New York law there are several degrees of rape with very different consequences, according to Sports Illustrated. Prosecutors would have to prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction.

First-degree rape, which describes situations involving forced intercourse, or a victim incapable of giving consent, is the most serious charge and has a sentence of up to 35 years in prison. Second-degree rape, intercourse in which the victim is incapable of giving consent due to "mental incapacitation" including alcohol intoxication, carries a prison sentence of up to seven years. Third-degree rape applies when the victim is under the age of consent or did not give consent and carries a prison sentence of up to four years. Misdemeanor sexual misconduct charges also exist for sexual intercourse without consent, according to Sports Illustrated.

As those familiar with sexual assault cases have said, Kane could start the season with the possibility of being charged at any moment, or there might be no charges. And that means there's just no way for the public to know when news will come.