It has been a rough three months for South Buffalo’s Patrick Kane but the high-scoring right winger for the Chicago Blackhawks may soon be able to concentrate on hockey and not worry about a possible rape charge as his accuser has told authorities she does not want to continue to go forward with the case.
The decision by the former UB cheerleader to decline prosecution was reported first by the Buffalo News over the weekend although there has been no official announcement from the district attorney. That could come any day.
We have reported for weeks now that Kane’s defense team has been confident all along that no charges would be filed against the hockey star because there was no DNA evidence from Kane linking him to his accuser in her rape test kit. And we reported exclusively several weeks ago that DNA from one or more unidentified males was found in the rape kit after the alleged attack Aug. 2, but none belonged to Kane.
The case has been a bit of circus, highlighted when the former attorney for the alleged victim called a press conference to introduce what he said was the rape kit used to gather evidence after the reported assault at Kane’s lakefront home after a night of partying, suggesting evidence had been compromised. It turned out to be a hoax, advanced by the accuser’s mother, and was branded so almost immediately by District Attorney Frank Sedita, severely damaging the credibility of the accuser and her family.
With the mounting stress and the apparent deficiencies in a rape case lacking any DNA evidence, the accuser has decided to no longer cooperate in any investigation. As might be expected, her decision to decline prosecution is fueling social media comments including suggestions she has been paid off by somebody, possibly even the Chicago Blackhawks. But there is no basis in fact for any of the speculation and eventually the case may just go away although Kane has suffered severe damage to his character and lost millions in endorsements as a result of the rape allegation.
Despite the cloud that has been hanging over his head for the last three months, Kane is doing what he does best on the ice with seven goals and nine assists in 12 games, tied for second place in league scoring.
Neither Kane nor his attorney Paul Cambria, are saying anything about the investigation coming to an end, and Kane says he has not been told by his attorney that the case is over. Of course, officially it is not but the criminal saga may be put to rest in the next few days now that Sedita has won election to the State Supreme Court and most certainly would like to put the matter behind him as he prepares to leave office.
While Kane is apparently in the clear on possible criminal charges, there could still be a civil action brought against the star who not long ago signed an $84 million contract extension with the Blackhawks who are shooting for a fourth Stanley Cup in six years with Kane on the wing.
Whatever happens going forward, Kane has been damaged and lost millions. The good news for him is that at age 26, he may be able to put the case behind him and keep his focus on hockey where he is one on the league’s biggest stars. Eventually, he may be able to recover and continue to make millions. For his alleged victim, we may never know the whole story and for now, anyway, she has decided that pursuing Kane criminally was not the course she wanted to follow and we’ll have to wait and see if she goes after Kane’s bank account in a civil suit where the burden of proof is much less than in a criminal case.