Patrick Kane accuser's lawyer: Evidence bag left on doorstep

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The lawyer for a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said Wednesday that an empty evidence bag was improperly left in the doorway of the woman's mother's home.

Thomas Eoannou said the bag at one point contained the rape kit used when the woman reported that she had been assaulted.

"Something seriously has gone amiss," Eoannou said.

Eoannou said the mother made the discovery when she came home from work for lunch on Tuesday afternoon. She found the bag folded up between a storm door and her front door, he said.

"It could have been there a day and a half," he said, because the woman used the back door when she left for work that morning.

He said the bag is authentic, labeled with personal identifying information for the woman, details on where the rape kit was used and the initials of the nurses who administered the kit.

"I have never seen an evidence bag outside of a police lab, a prosecutor's office or a courtroom, let alone find one in a doorway of a rape victim's mother's home," he said.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita did not immediately return a message seeking comment from The Associated Press.

John Glascott, Erie County Central Police Services commissioner, released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying all the evidence they were given remains in their possession.

"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," Glascott said in a statement. "This includes the evidence in the rape kit and the packaging itself. This evidence has been analyzed and reports of that analysis sent to the appropriate agencies."

The Hamburg (New York) Police Department, which has been conducting the investigation, also released a statement Wednesday on its Facebook page, saying that its handling of the evidence has been "unassailable."

"In regard to the information conveyed today by Mr. Thomas Eoannou, the Hamburg Police Department will cooperate with any authorized investigation regarding the handling of evidence and the procedure of such," the statement said. "That said, the Hamburg Police Department has documentation that unequivocally demonstrates that its handling of the evidence and the integrity of its chain of custody of evidence in this case is unassailable. As is policy with active investigations, there will be no further comment regarding this situation."

Eoannou said he wants the FBI or state police to probe how the bag left the custody of investigators. It's not clear how the bag got to the mother's home or what effect it could have on the investigation, he said.

"We're hoping to find out how this happened and who had the incentive to modify or tamper with the evidence," he said. Eoannou said he hoped the person who delivered the bag would come forward.

Police have been investigating since the alleged Aug. 2 incident at Kane's offseason home in suburban Buffalo. Kane has not been charged.

Kane's attorney, Paul Cambria, said both sides in the case have been told that none of Kane's DNA was found "from the waist down" on the woman.

Cambria said he would welcome an investigation of the bag incident.

"Only someone who is unhappy with the DNA results would have a motivation to claim that it's compromised," Cambria told The Associated Press. "We are obviously quite pleased with the DNA results."

Kane did not travel to Detroit on Wednesday for a preseason game against the Red Wings. Kane played Tuesday night and it is common for players to rest when their team plays consecutive days before the regular season begins.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said "nothing's changed," regarding Kane's status with the team. He shrugged off the notion that the latest news involving Kane contributes to a distraction.

"We don't change our routine at all," Quenneville told reporters outside his team's dressing room in Detroit. "It's business as usual, going into the game."

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly also released a statement Wednesday, saying "I don't think today's developments really have any direct impact on Kane's status from the League's standpoint."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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