Blackhawks management was informed in May 2010 of the alleged sexual assault by former video coach Bradley Aldrich, according to a report Thursday by TSN, but decided not to report the incidents to police.
Former Hawks president John McDonough, current general manager Stan Bowman, current vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac and former skills coach James Gary were told by former skills coach Paul Vincent in a meeting at a California hotel that Aldrich had sexually assaulted two players earlier that season, TSN reported.
But the group of Hawks executives refused Vincent’s request to inform the Chicago police’s sex crimes division about the assaults, TSN reported.
A Hawks spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
One of the unidentified players who allegedly was assaulted by Aldrich filed a lawsuit against the Hawks in April in Cook County Circuit Court. The lawsuit claimed the player notified Gary after the alleged assault, but Gary “did nothing” and convinced the player that the players were culpable for the assault.
Aldrich “sent . . . inappropriate text messages,” “turned on porn and began to masturbate in front of [the player] . . . without his consent” and “threatened to injure [the player if he] . . . did not engage in sexual activity,” according to the first lawsuit.
Aldrich left the Hawks after the 2010 Stanley Cup championship and pled guilty in 2013 for a criminal sexual-contact incident at a Michigan high school. The victim of that incident filed a separate lawsuit against the Hawks in May for not reporting Aldrich’s assaults before he began volunteering at the school.
The Hawks said in a statement after the first lawsuit’s filing that they believe the allegations “lack merit” and that “the team will be absolved of any wrongdoing.”
The Hawks filed a motion Monday to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the player did not exhaust all legal remedies before suing and that the Illinois statute of limitations on sexual abuse expired before the suit was filed.
The original lawsuit argued the statute of limitations did not begin until July 2019, when the player’s memories of the sexual assault were triggered, rather than in 2010.