If bag was a hoax, what happens to Patrick Kane investigation?

  • The sexual assault case against Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane took another strange twist Friday when New York state prosecutors said an evidence bag found by the accuser's mother was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the mother.

    The sexual assault case against Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane took another strange twist Friday when New York state prosecutors said an evidence bag found by the accuser's mother was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the mother. Associated Press

  • Shawn Collins

    Shawn Collins

  • Terry Ekl

    Terry Ekl

  • Terry Sullivan

    Terry Sullivan

  • Joel Brodsky

    Joel Brodsky

  • Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III holds a rape kit box Friday in Buffalo, N.Y., as he addressed the media on allegations of evidence tampering in connection with the sexual assault investigation involving Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.

    Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III holds a rape kit box Friday in Buffalo, N.Y., as he addressed the media on allegations of evidence tampering in connection with the sexual assault investigation involving Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane. Associated Press

  • Attorney Thomas J. Eoannou was representing the woman accusing Blackhawks star Patrick Kane of sexually assaulting her until Thursday when he announced he no longer was confident the evidence bag purportedly found by the victim's mother was authentic.

    Attorney Thomas J. Eoannou was representing the woman accusing Blackhawks star Patrick Kane of sexually assaulting her until Thursday when he announced he no longer was confident the evidence bag purportedly found by the victim's mother was authentic. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 9/30/2015 9:28 AM

About the only thing legal experts can agree on about the latest twist in the Patrick Kane sexual assault case is that it's "weird."

"It's flat out crazy everything that's happened," said former John Wayne Gacy prosecutor Terry Sullivan. "I've never seen anything like it. As a former prosecutor, I'd hate to be stuck with what he's got."

 

The "he" is Erie County, New York, District Attorney Frank Sedita III, who announced Friday that an evidence bag purportedly found by the mother of Kane's accuser was an "elaborate hoax" created by the mother. While some were quick to sound the death knell on the case, others thought it was merely another distraction in an increasingly strange investigation.

"I don't think it's affected the likelihood of whether Kane will be prosecuted, but I think the mother has set her daughter up for some horrible treatment from here," said Naperville-based attorney Shawn Collins, who's won numerous high-profile civil cases involving wrongful death and environmental malfeasance. "If Kane's accuser was involved, though, that would probably single-handedly make a prosecution untenable."

Sedita said there's no evidence the woman accusing Kane of sexually assaulting her at his home near Buffalo, New York, on Aug. 1 was involved in planting the evidence bag. He said the investigation into the sexual assault claim will continue.

"Do I think it's a wise move for the prosecutor to go forward? No, I don't," said Joel Brodsky, former attorney of disgraced Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson. "... I think it's a bad decision to go forward because there's so much reasonable doubt raised with this bag."

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The attorney representing Kane's accuser quit the case Thursday after holding a news conference a day earlier saying that the bag proved evidence in the case was being mishandled. Thomas Eoannou said he no longer had confidence in the accuser's mother's story.

"He held a news conference and dropped a bomb that kinda blew up in his face," Sedita said of Eoannou at a Friday morning news conference.

Sedita said no crimes were committed and neither the accuser's mother nor their former attorney would face charges, since the bag was never part of any evidentiary chain.

Kane's attorneys announced Wednesday that no DNA linked to Kane was recovered from below the accuser's waist.

"That is potentially far more significant than anything else that has to do with this case," said Terry Ekl, a former DuPage County prosecutor and current defense attorney.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Ekl said the idea of someone attempting to plant evidence in an attempt "to discredit the DNA results is very, very significant."

Ekl said Sedita should just submit the case to the grand jury and let the chips fall where they may.

That's the best-case legal scenario for Kane, Sullivan said.

"If the prosecutor just drops the case, it doesn't absolve Kane," Sullivan said. "The best outcome is for the grand jury to choose not to indict because then he can say it went through the legal system."

In the meantime, prosecutors and investigators are likely grilling Kane's accuser about whether she was involved in the bag showing up in her mother's doorway, the legal experts said.

"Whatever the mother did can't be held against her," Sullivan said. "But they've got to be sure there's no degree of any involvement (the accuser) had."

With all the twists and turns the case has taken, it's hard to keep track of the facts in the case, they said.

"The thing that makes me saddest is that with this terrible sideshow and unnecessary distraction, we're getting further and further away from the likelihood that we'll ever know for sure what happened," Collins said.

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