The pro-Patrick Kane people and the anti-Patrick Kane people, still slugging it out on social media, are going to have to learn to get along.
It seems likely now that we’ll never truly know what happened between the Blackhawks star and a woman inside his Hamburg, N.Y., home in early August. The latest reports are that the woman has told prosecutors she no longer will cooperate in the sexual-assault investigation, citing stress to her and her family.
Going forward, it means everyone will to have to coexist in a murky world in which Kane’s guilt or innocence will never be clear. And no matter what anyone tweets at you, there are no winners here – not Kane, not the woman, not the lawyers and not any of us for having watched this play out.
As for the accuser’s decision not to cooperate, there are at least three possible explanations, each of them unpleasant in its own way:
— Kane is guilty of something nefarious, but the woman and her family are indeed stressed out from the public attention and don’t have the energy or emotional reserves to handle a trial. The alleged victim doesn’t want the details of her life on public display. This happens regularly in sexual-assault cases.
— The woman lied about what happened. There was never an assault, and after watching public support erode after her mother allegedly lied about finding an evidence bag, the woman decided to notify prosecutors that she would not be cooperating with them.
— The two sides reached a settlement. To stop details of his behavior, criminal or otherwise, from being released in a courtroom, Kane has agreed to give the woman money in exchange for her silence.
All three of those scenarios would make sense, which is why I wouldn’t venture to say one is more likely than the other. Other people have been less reluctant to take a stand. There are two very, very loud camps.
One camp says Kane is guilty as sin because it listens to radio sports-talk shows and has a second cousin who works at a bar that Kane once visited.
The other camp says Kane is a misunderstood angel because there are money grabbers out there and, by the way, have you seen this guy handle the puck?
As I said, there are no winners here.