Report: Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane subject of sex assault investigation

  • The Buffalo News is reporting that Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane is under police investigation after claims of a sexual assault.

    The Buffalo News is reporting that Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane is under police investigation after claims of a sexual assault. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 8/7/2015 4:59 AM

The spotlight has shined brightly on the Chicago Blackhawks for the past seven years for all the right reasons as a once irrelevant franchise turned itself around in literally a flash, re-energizing a fan base in ways no one thought possible in the middle of the last decade.

Now, though, the spotlight is on one of the franchise's biggest faces for the wrong reasons.

 

Patrick Kane, the Hawks' 26-year-old winger who is supposed to make $13.8 million during the upcoming 2015-16 season, is under investigation after a woman claimed he sexually assaulted her, according to The Buffalo News. Sources close to the case told the paper that a woman has alleged that Kane took her to his home in Hamburg, New York, and assaulted her after meeting her in a Buffalo nightclub late Saturday or early Sunday.

The sources said the accuser went to a hospital and tests using a rape kit were performed, The Buffalo News is reporting.

As of Thursday night, Kane, who grew up in South Buffalo, had not been charged with a crime. Reports from numerous news outlets said neighbors saw police enter Kane's home Sunday night and that at least one of the officers was wearing gloves and taking pictures.

Neither Hamburg police Chief Gregory G. Wickett nor Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III both would confirm or deny an investigation.

Kane's eight-year, $84 million contract is scheduled to begin this season. But if Kane is officially charged with a crime, the NHL could suspend the Hawks' superstar if the league deems him to be causing harm to its brand.

Frank Brown, group vice president of communications for the National Hockey League, told the newspaper, "We are aware of the police investigation and are following developments."

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Paul J. Cambria Jr., who has represented Kane in the past, told the Buffalo News, "I have nothing to say." Cambria represented Kane during a 2009 case in which he and his cousin were accused of assaulting a Buffalo cabdriver. The two ended up pleading guilty to disorderly conduct.

Attempts to talk with GM Stan Bowman or Hawks President John McDonough were unsuccessful. The Hawks released a statement, which read: "We are aware of the matter and are in the process of gathering information. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

Kane's agent, Pat Brisson, issued a statement saying almost the exact same thing: "As the Blackhawks indicated in their statement, they are gathering information and will be reviewing reports. It would not be appropriate to provide further comment at this time."

Kane is scheduled to have his day with the Stanley Cup on Saturday, but that may change in light of these developments.

The Buffalo News reported that sources said the Hamburg Police Department has forbidden officers and detectives from publicly talking about the situation. Wickett would not let the News see last weekend's police blotter and told the paper to file a Freedom of Information Act request, which the paper did do. The town, though, has 20 days to accept or reject the request.

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