The Patrick Kane case took another turn Friday when a New York district attorney batted away allegations that critical evidence had been compromised after an empty evidence bag was left on the doorstep of the mother of the hockey star's rape accuser.
A 21-year-old western New York woman accused Kane, star of the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, of raping her at his mansion on August 2, the Chicago Tribune reported
. While Eerie County DA Frank Sedita has never publicly acknowledged an investigation into the claim, he held a news conference to address the allegation of evidence tampering.
Thomas Eoannou — the accuser's attorney who walked away from the case Thursday — said on Wednesday that an opened, empty evidence bag that once contained the woman's rape kit had been left anonymously on her mother's doorstep a day earlier.
The accuser's mother told Eoannou that she found bag wedged inside a screen door when she arrived home around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Tribune.
But Sedita fired back against those allegations Friday at the news conference.
"The rape kit was never in any kind of bag," he said, WLS-TV reported
. "It was properly sealed and submitted. It has never left custody.
Sedita said video surveillance shows that detectives then placed the rape kit in a box, not a bag, and into the evidence locker on Aug 2. He said a brown paper bag was given to the accuser's mother for her to place the accuser's original shirt into for later collection by police, noted WLS-TV.
In leaving the case Thursday, Eoannou told journalists that "information was provided" that outlined "misrepresentations" about the evidence bag, according to the Chicago Tribune.
"I do not believe the way in which it was explained to me was the manner in which it was found," Eoannou said. "I have looked into that and I do not have confidence in that version of the events."
Kane's attorney Paul Cambria said Wednesday that he believes the evidence bag story was floated to downplay for forensic evidence that favored the hockey star.
Cambria said that a DNA analysis in the case found that samples taken below the accuser's waist contain "a mixture" of male profiles with none matching that of Kane.
"They tried to undermine the science in the case," Cambria said to the Tribune Thursday. "That speaks volumes about the credibility of the [rape] allegation."
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