On September 25, the lawyer for Patrick Kane’s accuser quit, saying the rape kit evidence bag was compromised and he “no longer [has] the confidence in the manner and means in which that bag came to my office.” See Dave's follow-up post here.
In the entire horrific history of male sports stars and accusations of sexual violence, there may have never been a story as nauseating as this one.
Patrick Kane, the All-Star Chicago Blackhawks hockey hero, was accused of raping a woman in Hamburg, New York, (a small city of 56,000 near Kane’s hometown of Buffalo) on the morning of August 2. The rape kit, according to anonymous sources that emerged last week, showed no evidence of Kane’s DNA, although the absence of DNA does not mean an assault did not take place. On Wednesday, the accuser’s lawyer, Thomas Eoannou, held an extraordinary press conference where he held up the torn and damaged rape kit evidence bag of his client—clearly labeled with her name, date of birth, and the ID number of the nurse who did the exam—and said that it had been deposited on the doorstep of the victim’s mother. Eoannou said that he hoped it had been put there, in his words, by “a good Samaritan” attempting to show that the kit had been tampered with either by the hospital staff or the police.
There is also the obscene, and frankly more likely possibility that someone crammed the bag in between the storm door and front door of her mother’s home to taunt the victim and her family. (I am not writing “alleged victim” because based upon what happened today, she has been truly victimized.) No matter the motivations, the very idea of evidence being taken out of police custody and torn open is criminal and appalling. As Eoannou said, “In a rape case, the victim gets attacked. It’s called victim bashing. It’s absolutely atrocious.… This is a classic example of why rape victims don’t come forward in rape cases.”
I spoke with Katie Klabusich, writer and host of The Katie Speak Show on Netroots Radio. A longtime Chicago Blackhawks fan as well as a rape survivor, Klabusich has been vocal about this case from the onset. “I’m furious and nauseous,” she said. “I had been initially optimistic about the way law enforcement was handling the case—searching Kane’s house early and seemingly taking the victim and the accusations seriously. But having the rape kit compromised in any way complicates prosecution and announces to other survivors…that even when they ‘do everything right’ as this victim did, there is little guarantee that their case will be handled well and that they might get justice.”