Lawyer of Patrick Kane's accuser reveals that evidence was tampered with

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Attorney For Patrick Kane Accuser Claims Key Evidence Tampered With


By JOHN DORN

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Thomas Eoannou, the attorney representing the accuser in a rape case involving Chicago Blackhawks player Patrick Kane, claimed that crucial evidence was tampered with. The discovery was made when the evidence -- a rape kit -- was found at the doorstep of the accuser's mother.

The situation is incredibly puzzling and disconcerting -- and nobody is quite sure of how or why this was done. The kit was mailed anonymously to the accuser's mother's home, where she found it when she returned from a lunch. The bag was ripped open, leaving any DNA evidence compromised.



Eoannou is hopeful that a "good samaritan' was responsible for the delivery -- perhaps tipping off the accuser's family that the kit had been tampered with and a fair trial would be impossible. Conversely, this could've been an attempt to intimidate or mock the accuser.

It's also not known whether the accuser had come forward with her side of the story to anyone besides law enforcement.

Treatment of rape kits typically follows precise protocol, with each step being documented. They're usually sealed after initial testing, only to be opened again during trial by the DA.

It's too early to tell which direction this will swing Kane's case. Previous reports indicated that the kit lacked Kane's DNA -- but now, any claim regarding the evidence can and will be called into question. Regardless, since it's been tampered with, the kit can no longer be used during trial -- though Julie DiCaro of 670 The Score notes that the importance of actual DNA evidence will likely soon be usurped by other factors, including rape kit notes, testimonies and photos.



This isn't the first troubling development stemming from the Kane investigation. Around the time news had first leaked, the Buffalo News ran quotes from the owner of the bar in which the alleged incident occurred -- painting the accuser in a negative light and inferring that he and Kane were friendly. An off-duty Buffalo police officer who Kane employs as his chauffeur, was quick to dispute accusations made against Kane. That officer is now the subject of a separate investigation.

The Blackhawks had allowed Kane to participate in training camp and preseason games before Wednesday's news, and Chicago fans welcomed him with overwhelming cheers ahead of his preseason debut on Tuesday.

"I think support's been really good," Kane said after the game. "I think just driving in last night you see some 88 jerseys walking into the building and things like that. It's pretty cool to see."

More from today's news conference:
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Lawyer of Patrick Kane's accuser reveals that evidence was tampered with
Thomas J. Eoannou, a lawyer for a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, holds up what he says is an empty evidence bag that was improperly left in the doorway of the woman's mother's home, during a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Buffalo, N.Y. Eoannou said the bag at one point contained the rape kit used when the woman reported that she had been assaulted. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III responds to a question as he addressed the media on allegations of evidence tampering in connection with the alleged sexual assualt case against Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane in Buffalo, N.Y. Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III holds a Rape Kit Box as he addressed the media on allegations of evidence tampering in connection with the alleged sexual assualt case against Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane in Buffalo, N.Y. Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Thomas J. Eoannou, a lawyer for a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, holds up what he says is an empty evidence bag that was improperly left in the doorway of the woman's mother's home, during a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Buffalo, N.Y. Eoannou said the bag at one point contained the rape kit used when the woman reported that she had been assaulted. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Thomas J. Eoannou, a lawyer for a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, gestures during a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Buffalo, N.Y. Eoannou said that an empty evidence bag, that at one point contained the rape kit used when the woman reported that she had been assaulted, was improperly left in the doorway of the woman's mother's home the day before. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Thomas J. Eoannou, a lawyer for a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, holds up what he says is an empty evidence bag that was improperly left in the doorway of the woman's mother's home, during a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Buffalo, N.Y. Eoannou said the bag at one point contained the rape kit used when the woman reported that she had been assaulted. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Thomas J. Eoannou, a lawyer for a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, gestures during a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Buffalo, N.Y. Eoannou said that an empty evidence bag, that at one point contained the rape kit used when the woman reported that she had been assaulted, was improperly left in the doorway of the woman's mother's home the day before. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane answers a question during media day for the NHL hockey's Stanley Cup finals Tuesday, June 2, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. The Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Patrick Kane is seen at a press conference before the start of the Chicago Blackhawks training camp on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at the University of Notre Dame's Compton Family Ice Center in South Bend, Ind. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Jim McDonough, second from left, addresses the media during a press conference before the start of the Chicago Blackhawks training camp on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at the University of Notre Dame's Compton Family Ice Center in South Bend, Ind. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
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