The rape-kit evidence bag of a woman who accused NHL star Patrick Kane of rape was ripped open and left on her mother's doorstep, the woman's attorney said at a news conference Wednesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, the mother of Kane's accuser found the evidence bag on her doorstep, attorney Thomas Eoannou said. He pointed out the names of the alleged victim and the nurse who conducted the rape kit, making clear it was not a hoax.
Eoannou said the bag was delivered to the doorstep by "a good samaritan," indicating that the person who tampered with the evidence bag was not the same person who delivered it to the alleged victim's mother.
During the news conference, Eoannou called for an independent review of the tampering of evidence with the intent it lead to a criminal investigation. That the bag would appear on the doorstep of the alleged victim's mother indicates that the chain of custody had been broken. The chain of custody allows a medical examiner to testify that the evidence presented in court has not been tampered with or "compromised."
Eoannou expressed concerns over leaks to the media regarding results of DNA evidence. He said that in 30 years as an attorney, "this is the worst case of victim bashing I have ever seen. This is a classic example of why rape victims don't come forward in rape cases."
The attorney also shot down reports that his client was working toward a settlement with Kane's camp, saying that he is "the last lawyer you'd go to in town to settle a civil case."
The tampering of evidence could make the DNA evidence and rape kit inadmissible during a trial.
According to Stacy St. Clair of the Chicago Tribune, Kane's attorney said "his client would be hurt most by tampered evidence because they can't do their own testing if needed."
During a press conference immediately following Eoannou's, Kane's attorney Paul Cambria confirmed that he and his client had not met with Eoannou and his client for settlement talks.
Cambria told reporters that the evidence needed to prove his client's innocence had already been reported and that Kane's DNA was not found below the accuser's waist. He said a "mixture" of DNA from other men had been found below her waist, an allegation Eoannou had addressed and disputed during his earlier press conference.
"The victim in this case hasn't been determined yet," Cambria said. "And I think my client is the victim here."
Wednesday afternoon, John Glascott, Commissioner of Erie County, New York, issued a statement that 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. The evidence has been analyzed and reports of that analysis sent to appropriate agencies."
Kane, who plays for the Chicago Blackhawks, has been in attendance at the Blackhawks training camp while the investigation plays out in his hometown of Hamburg, New York.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly released a statement in September regarding Kane's participation in training camp:
We have remained in close contact with the Blackhawks' organization over the last 7 days and given the circumstances that exist now, we support the Club's decision in this situation.
Kane has played with the Blackhawks since 2007, and the team has won three Stanley Cups in time with the club. In 2009, Kane pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge after he allegedly punched a cab driver in Buffalo, New York, who shortchanged him 20 cents on his cab fare.
The NHL and Blackhawks did not immediately respond to requests for comment.