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What's next for Blackhawks and Patrick Kane?

Julie DiCaro, an update anchor and contributor to 670 The Score, was a lawyer before joining the media, giving her a unique perspective on athletes and their legal troubles.

After the attorney of Patrick Kane’s accuser said that the evidence bag containing the rape kit performed on the woman was tampered with, the Blackhawks organization will once again be forced to talk about topics other than hockey.

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DiCaro has shared her thoughts on the Patrick Kane situation with Sun-Times Sports previously, and once again answered some questions on the latest developments.

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What are the implications of the allegations by the accuser’s attorney that the rape kit bag was tampered with?

They throw the entire case into turmoil, and they potentially damage both sides. Evidence bags in Erie County are rarely seen outside a police station or courtroom, according to attorneys who practice out there. They are also destroyed, not thrown away once they are no longer needed. So the question of how one made it out the door and to the home of the accuser’s mother is a troubling one, especially as both sides insist they have the original evidence bag the rape kit is contained in. This kind of thing should not happen, and when the chain of custody of a piece of evidence is broken, it can have a huge impact on a case, not just on an eventual trial, but on whether charges are brought at all, as now we have DNA results that could be compromised. It hurts the accuser because we may never know if these are the “actual” DNA results, and it hurts the defense, because it strips the accused of a piece of evidence that could have pointed to his innocence. It’s a disaster all around, I’ve never seen anything like it.

Have the responses to you on Twitter today differed in any way?

“Chain of custody” and evidence issues are complicated and largely unknown to most people outside the criminal justice system, so there was a lot of confusion and a lot of questions. But the segment of the fan base that insists Kane is innocent will never be persuaded otherwise. I got a lot of people demanding I reveal my sources or risk them not believing me, which is crazy. What kind of reporter just gives up their sources to Twitter on demand? And, of course, plenty of #ISupport88 guys told me I should resign my job or go play in traffic.

What really disturbs me are all the people who think that merely reporting what is happening in a case is “crucifying” Kane, “passing judgment on him,” or “trying to convince the world Kane is guilty.” This is a multi-millionaire who hasn’t been charged, hasn’t been kept from his job, and has been cheered by legions of adoring fans for the past week. What other person being investigated for a crime can say that? And the idea that the media should just say nothing until the case is concluded is ridiculous. I don’t recall anyone saying that during the O.J. Simpson case.

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What do you think the Blackhawks will do with Kane now?

I really have no idea. It’s surprising to me that they’re willing to deal with that distraction, for that reason I didn’t think they’d even have him at training camp, so that shows how much I know. Clearly, I don’t think along the same lines as the organization does, from a PR standpoint. They seem to have aligned themselves with the fans who don’t want to hear about it and are pretending it’s not happening.

Anything else you would like to add?

I think there’s a real lesson here as to our rape culture and why so many rapes go unreported, including my own. If you look at the Twitter timelines of anyone reporting on this case, there is a just a whole bunch of crazy, a lot of it centered around women being liars and Kane not needing to rape someone, etc. It’s extremely disturbing. But when women come forward months after a rape has taken place and everyone asks “why didn’t you to go the police?” This kind of attitude is why. As sports fans, as a city, as a country, as human beings, we have to do better.