The lawyer hired to represent a woman who claims she was raped by hockey star Patrick Kane has alleged that evidence in the case may have been tampered with.
The Chicago Blackhawks right winger is accused of assaulting a woman at his home in Buffalo, New York, in August. Attorney Thomas Eoannou, who represents the unidentified woman, told reporters in a press conference Wednesday that an empty paper bag that had held his client’s rape kit was placed anonymously on her mother’s doorstep.
“Something seriously has gone amiss,” Eoannou said during the press conference as he displayed the wrinkled bag.
“Something was either taken out of it or place in another bag,” Eoannou explained. “I will be requesting an independent law enforcement investigation by a separate law enforcement agency into how this breach could have possible happened.”
Because of this breach, Eoannou contends that any DNA evidence contained in the rape kit could have been compromised – potentially intentionally, he said.
In a statement, Erie County’s Commissioner of Central Police Services, John Glascott, said “all evidence related to this case that was given to Erie County Central Police Services by the Town of Hamburg Police Department is accounted for and remains in its original packaging in the possession of Erie County Central Police Services. This includes the evidence in the rape kit and the packaging itself.”
Glascott added: “This evidence has been analyzed and reports of that analysis sent to the appropriate agencies.”
Kane’s attorney, Paul Cambria, tells PEOPLE he thinks talk of an evidentiary breach is merely “a smokescreen” and notes there’s nothing to indicate the rape kit was compromised between “the time it was taken from the girl to when it was analyzed.”
Cambria says it is possible the bag that was left for the alleged victim’s mother could be “part of a hoax or part of an attempt to discredit the evidence in this case because the evidence isn’t favorable to [Eoannou’s] client.”
In fact, “it could be a situation where someone who has access to these bags has simply gotten a similar bag and a similar tag and fabricated this bag,” Cambria says to PEOPLE.
“Any of those things are possible,” Cambria adds. “I am happy with the results of the kit because they are inconsistent with the accusations. Unless someone is in a position to show that the authorities that say they have the bag and kit are lying, I don’t see where this is going.”
Kane’s alleged victim claims she met the hockey star in early August at a Buffalo, New York, club. The two later returned to Kane’s Hamburg residence, where the assault is alleged to have occurred. For his part, Kane has staunchly denied the allegations.
“While I have too much respect for the legal process to comment on an ongoing matter, I am confident once all the facts are brought to light I will be absolved of having done [anything] wrong,” he said at a news conference last week.
“There are only two possibilities here,” says Cambria. “Either the police and lab people are wrong or the bags are fake. That’s it. And if it turns out the bags are fake, there will be a lot of people having a lot of problems. It is obvious this will slow this whole thing down, and sidetrack it, which is nothing we want.”
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