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Blackhawks sued by former player for alleged sexual assault by former assistant coach

The lawsuit claims former Blackhawks video coach Bradley Aldrich in May 2010 sent inappropriate text messages to, watched porn and masturbated in front of and threatened to injure the unidentified player if he did not engage in sexual activity.

A former Blackhawks player filed a lawsuit April 30 against the team.
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A recent lawsuit filed by a former Blackhawk describes an alleged 2010 sexual assault by a former Hawks assistant coach.

The suit, filed April 30 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges that the former assistant, Bradley Aldrich, assaulted the player — identified only as “John Doe” — in May 2010 during the team’s Stanley Cup run.

The lawsuit also alleges that Aldrich previously had assaulted a different Hawks player.

Aldrich “sent . . . inappropriate text messages,” “turned on porn and began to masturbate in front of [Doe] . . . without his consent” and “threatened to injure [Doe] . . . physically, financially and emotionally if [Doe] . . . did not engage in sexual activity,” according to the lawsuit.

The player allegedly reported Aldrich’s assault to Hawks mental skills coach James Gary, according to the lawsuit, but Gary “did nothing” and instead “convinced [Doe] . . . that the sexual assault was his fault, that he was culpable for what happened, made mistakes during his encounter with the perpetrator and permitted the sexual assault to occur.”

The lawsuit — filed by lawyer Susan Loggans — seeks $150,000 in damages from the Hawks, alleging the player continues to suffer from the trauma of the incident.

The Hawks said in a statement that an internal investigation determined the organization committed no wrongdoing.

“The Chicago Blackhawks take the allegations asserted by a former player very seriously,” the team said. “Based on our investigation, we believe the allegations against the organization lack merit, and we are confident the team will be absolved of any wrongdoing. As this is a pending litigation matter, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”

Aldrich worked as a Hawks video coach under then-coach Joel Quenneville from 2008 until sometime between 2010 and 2013. He also worked for the U.S. men’s national team during the 2010 Winter Olympics and for Notre Dame before joining the Hawks.

Aldrich pleaded guilty in December 2013 — and was sentenced in February 2014 to nine months in prison and five years of probation — for an unrelated criminal sexual-contact incident in Houghton, Michigan.

He had been volunteering with the Houghton High School hockey team when he had sexual contact with a 16- to 18-year-old student.

The former Hawk’s memories of the alleged 2010 sexual assault were triggered, according to the lawsuit, when he learned about Aldrich’s Michigan case in July 2019, shortly after Aldrich’s five-year probation ended.

The player had believed Gary, who said the incident he experienced was not actually sexual assault, the lawsuit states. The suit claims the statute of limitations therefore did not start running until 2019.

Aldrich has not been criminally charged in regard to the alleged Hawks incident.

The Hawks’ 2021 season ended Monday.

The lawsuit in full can be seen below: