Prosecutor: Evidence bag in Patrick Kane investigation 'a hoax'

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

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

  • Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane warms up before a preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center.

    Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane warms up before a preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center. Associated Press

  • Thomas J. Eoannou, a lawyer for a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, on Wednesday holds up what he said is an empty evidence bag improperly left in the doorway of the woman's mother's home. Eoannou said at the time the bag at one point contained the rape kit used when the woman reported that she had been assaulted.

    Thomas J. Eoannou, a lawyer for a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, on Wednesday holds up what he said is an empty evidence bag improperly left in the doorway of the woman's mother's home. Eoannou said at the time the bag at one point contained the rape kit used when the woman reported that she had been assaulted. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 9/25/2015 9:46 PM

Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III reiterated Friday the rape kit bag involved in the investigation of a possible sexual assault at Patrick Kane's New York home has not been tampered with and is still in police custody, and he said the accuser's mother lied about finding an evidence bag in her doorway.

"Obviously there has been an effort to create a hoax," Sedita said. "I gotta figure out who was in on that, why they would do that and what it means vis-a-vis all the other evidence."

 

The mother has not commented on the case but was interviewed Friday by investigators, Sedita said.

Kane has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her 20s at his home in Hamburg, New York, on Aug. 2. He has not been charged with any crime.

Thomas Eoannou, the lawyer for Kane's accuser, withdrew from the case Thursday, one day after holding a news conference to tell reporters that the evidence bag in the case was discovered in the accuser's mother's doorway the day before.

Sedita said Friday those claims are false.

"It's not (the rape kit)," Sedita said. "A rape kit is a box."

He showed the media what a rape kit looks like. He said evidence is kept in a box, not a bag.

"Once the materials are taken, they are then put back in the box," Sedita said.

Rape kits in Erie County are not placed or submitted in bags, Sedita said. He showed how the kit in the Kane case was processed, demonstrating with video that the rape kit was brought into the police office at 12:06 p.m. Aug. 2.

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"There is no bag," Sedita said.

At 12:17 p.m., Sedita said detectives put the rape kit in an evidence locker at Erie County's Central Police Services.

"It has never left the custody of the CPS forensic laboratory," Sedita said.

The clear plastic bag that Eoannou showed Tuesday did not come from the Hamburg Police Department.

Sedita said the mother was given the bag at a hospital when her daughter was examined, but it never contained a rape kit. The examining nurse gave the mother the bag after learning the accuser changed her top before going to the hospital, Sedita said. The mother was to put the top in the bag and turn it into authorities, but never did, Sedita said.

Sedita said he immediately didn't believe Eoannou's claim that the rape kit showed up on the mother's doorstep.

"Rape kits are stored in boxes," Sedita said. "So when he was saying this was the bag from the rape kit, there was a total disconnect. What are you talking about? Rape kits are stored in boxes; they're not in bags. … So maybe he doesn't know what he's talking about."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Sedita said the mother was interviewed Friday by investigators from his office and denied ever taking possession of the bag.

"It's a bizarre hoax," Sedita said. "And it's a dog and pony show."

Hamburg police chief Gregory Wickett said Friday an officer who went to the mother's home the day she went to the hospital saw the bag but didn't take it and put the clothing requested by the nurse in a different bag instead.

Sedita said he doesn't think the mother did anything illegal because it's not against the law to lie to her daughter's lawyer and she wasn't under oath when interviewed by his office.

"We will study the law, we will look at the law," Sedita said. "But I think it's unlikely."

Sedita said he can't comment on the results of the rape kit.

The criminal investigation into the sexual assault allegation against Kane continues, Sedita said, adding that it could be affected if investigators determine the accuser was aware of any hoax involving the evidence bag.

Otherwise, "the child is usually not guilty of the sins perpetrated by the parents," he said.

At one point earlier this month, prosecutors were scheduled to present the case against Kane to a grand jury but postponed the proceedings, a person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. The person did not provide a reason for the postponement and spoke on condition of anonymity because Sedita and Hamburg police had not revealed any details of the case.

On Friday, when asked when a grand jury might hear the case, Sedita responded: "The question in my mind is not when this case will go to a grand jury, it's if it will go to a grand jury."

Kane's attorney, Paul Cambrina, told reporters Wednesday that Kane's DNA was not found below the accuser's waist. The Buffalo News reported through sources that Kane's DNA was found beneath the accuser's fingernails and in bite marks on her shoulder.

Eight days ago, on the eve of training camp, Kane and the Blackhawks held a news conference in South Bend, confident that he would be exonerated. While sitting at a table with President and CEO John McDonough, GM Stan Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville, Kane expressed his gratitude for the team standing behind him.

"I feel like they've always had my back, they've always been there just like they've been there for all my teammates," Kane said. "That's just the way we view ourselves. We view ourselves as a family, and it's always nice to have their support."

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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