Patrick Kane downplays report saying he won’t be charged

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Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks with 14 points through 11 games. (Getty Images)

Patrick Kane declined to comment Sunday on a Buffalo News report that said no charges are expected to be filed against him in connection with a sexual assault allegation made against him three months ago.

“Those are just reports, and not really any facts or anything so far,” Kane said. “So for me to comment on that would be going against what we’ve been doing the whole time, so I’m not really going to say much about it until the district attorney addresses everything and he make his decision.”

Kane has been the subject of an ongoing investigation since a woman made the allegations to police in Hamburg, New York, on Aug. 2. But the case began to fall apart last month, first with the Buffalo News reporting that DNA evidence didn’t support the allegation, and then after a bizarre turn of events involving the accuser’s lawyer, Thomas Eoannou. On Sept. 22, Eoannou claimed that a rape kit evidence bag was left on the accuser’s mother’s doorstep. The next day, Eoannou quit the case because he could no longer believe the information the alleged victim’s mother gave him. Erie County district attorney Frank Sedita said an investigation showed it was a hoax.

Kane said his attorney, Paul Cambria, hasn’t told him the case is nearing an end yet.

“He says he doesn’t really know, either,” Kane said. “I think there’s been a lot of reports, a lot of things that have been said that have been wrong, and a lot of things that have been said that maybe have been accurate, too. But we’ve kind of stayed even keel the whole time and not really saying much and just kind of leaving it to the facts and what actually happens, instead of going off sources and different reports.”

While Kane’s life has been turned upside-down off the ice, it’s been largely business as usual on the ice. The Hawks allowed him to come to camp despite the cloud of the investigation, and after an awkward press conference in which Kane claimed he’d be absolved of “any wrongdoing,” he was welcomed back by the vast majority of Hawks fans attending practices and games. Kane has been booed heavily at a couple of road games, and was greeted with chants of “No Means No” in Brooklyn and “She Said No” in Philadelphia. But for the most part, the investigation hasn’t been much of an on-ice distraction for Kane or his teammates.

Kane leads the Hawks with 14 points (six goals, eight assists) through 11 games. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville lauded Kane for his focus during what’s been a turbulent time away from the rink.

“I’m at the rink, that’s what I’m here to do,” Kane said. “That’s my job, that’s my profession —to be a hockey player. So with that being said, you worry about that other stuff when you’re away from the rink. And when you’re here, it’s kind of like you get away, being here with your teammates and playing hockey. It’s kind of my little getaway.”

Kane said he hasn’t been frustrated by the length of the legal process.

“You understand the law, and I’m not the only case that’s going on in that area, in that district,” he said. “I’m sure there are other matters they’re attending to. But I think it’s one of those situations where obviously it seems like it’s been a long time, even though it’s been about three months. Obviously, you’re looking forward to any type of conclusion, whatever it might be, you just want [them] to make their decision. For me to comment on anything sources say, or any reports, would be against what we’ve been saying this whole time. [I’ll] just stick to that plan, not say much about it, and wait for a conclusion.”

Email: mlazerus@suntimes.com

Twitter: @marklazerus

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