[Updated] Rape Kit Evidence In Patrick Kane Case Was Tampered With: Accuser's Attorney
By Rachel Cromidas in News on Sep 23, 2015 10:00PM
Patrick Kane warms up on the ice in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The attorney for the woman who accused Blackhawks star Patrick Kane of rape last month says a central piece of evidence—the rape kit performed on the woman after the alleged assault—may have been tampered with.
Attorney Thomas Eoannou held a press conference in Buffalo, New York Wednesday afternoon where he held up the rape kit evidence bag and showed reporters where it was ripped open, according to reports. Eoannou said the rape kit evidence bag was found on the accuser's mother's doorstep earlier this week.
"It's been tampered with," Eoannou said. He is now calling for an "independent investigation by a separate law enforcement agency" to find out how the rape kit evidence bag apparently left the hands of law enforcement.
Eoannou said in his 30-plus years as an attorney he has never seen an evidence bag outside a police lab, courtroom or legal office, and wants the person to come forward and cooperate about “how on earth this could have happened.”
Kane has been facing these rape accusations since earlier this summer, when he allegedly brought a woman and one of the woman's friends home from a bar after a night out in Buffalo, Kane's hometown, on Aug. 2. He has not been charged with a crime and a grand jury investigation into the accusations was expected to proceed this fall. Kane has been training with the Blackhawks and played an exhibition game in Chicago last night.
Updated 4:30 p.m.: Patrick Kane's attorney, Paul Cambria, told reporters the rape kit's recent findings should still be considered valid, despite the claim that it was tampered with.
The rape kit results came back this week showing the Kane's DNA could be found underneath the fingernails of his accuser, but not below her waist. But various experts have weighed in to say that those rape kit results don't necessarily mean a sexual assault did not take place.
"Obviously, somebody else isn’t happy with the results," Cambria told NBC. "Somebody is trying to claim that now there is a problem with the evidence, and my question is, is that someone who isn’t happy with the results?”
The Hamburg Police Department released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that its handling of the evidence has been "unassailable."
Cambria also says there was nothing wrong with how law enforcement handled the rape kit and collected evidence from it. He wants to have the rape kit independently tested now, too, and he said the opposing side would have to prove the rape kit was compromised before it was tested to make the results questionable:
“We have a solid report from the technician who works for the county that none of my client’s DNA was found on the girl from the waist down," he said. “A quote 'mixture' of DNA was found from males, and it’s not my client. And that’s important. And that has not been challenged.”
He added that he wanted the opportunity to independently test the evidence "to see if there is even more evidence that is favorable to my client."
Cambria also said there have been no settlement talks between the two sides and noted the only one who could be hurt by potential evidence tampering is Kane.
“Unless they can show that the exhibit has been compromised from the time it was collected from the girl until the time it was tested, the results are intact, and they clearly eliminated Patrick Kane as a contributor of DNA," he said.