We can now add possible skullduggery to the Patrick Kane case, as if ugly accusations, postponed grand jury proceedings and news-conference awkwardness weren’t enough.
The attorney for the woman who has accused the Blackhawks star of sexual assault said Wednesday that an empty bag once containing her rape kit had been anonymously dropped off at the home of the woman’s mother, putting the integrity of the evidence in serious question.
“The purpose of an evidence bag is to protect the items of evidence from tampering,’’ Thomas Eoannou said. “The bag itself is even critical evidence to the chain of custody. It never leaves law enforcement or the district attorney’s office.’’
Gentlemen, start your conspiracy theories.
Eoannou said he would request an independent investigation to find out how the chain of custody was breached.
“We’re hoping to find out how this happened and who had the incentive to modify or tamper with the evidence,’’ Eoannou said.
In a statement, the Hamburg, N.Y., police department, which is leading the investigation, said, “The chain of custody of evidence in this case is unassailable.”
Eoannou said bringing to light possibly compromised evidence doesn’t favor Kane’s defense. But it wouldn’t seem to help a potential prosecution. That should bring on another cringe-inducing ovation from Hawks fans the next time they see Kane.
According to Eoannou, a label on the ripped-open bag includes the woman’s name and birth date, where the rape kit was performed and the initials of the nurse who performed it.
“Something seriously has gone amiss,’’ he said.
As to why someone would anonymously deliver the bag to the mother of the alleged victim, Eoannou said, “Maybe some Good Samaritan came forward and provided that to us to give us a tip as to what’s going on.’’
Kane became the subject of a police investigation after the woman accused him of sexual assault in early August. He has not been charged with a crime. At a ham-handed news conference last week in which he answered few questions, Kane said he would be “absolved.’’
Eoannou said the victim is upset with some of the stories that have been leaked about the case.
“She is absolutely devastated,’’ he said. “This is a classic example why rape victims don’t come forward in rape cases. This is the worst example of victim bashing that I have seen.’’