Lawyer for Patrick Kane's accuser says rape kit evidence was tampered with

patrick kane rape kit evidence tampered

The lawyer for the Buffalo-area woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Patrick Kane said that the evidence bag from the rape kit in the case turned up at the front door of the accuser's mother.

Lawyer, Thomas Eoannou, called the chain-of-custody breach the worst he's seen in 30 years-plus as a prosecutor and defense attorney and he called for a separate, independent investigation by the FBI or state troopers into how it could have happened.

Eoannou, who called a news conference to tell of the bizarre, bombshell development was speaking publicly about the case for the first time. He said his client thanks the anonymous person who placed the bag between the storm door and front door, asking that the person come forward publicly. Eoannou said:

I have obviously my grave concerns as to what is going on here. That's why we went public with it. Something seriously has gone amiss. If you are looking for a surefire way to scuttle the prosecution, you may tamper with the evidence. Maybe some good Samaritan came forward and provided that to us to give us a tip as to what's going on.

The Hamburg Police Department issued a statement saying it would cooperate with any investigation but that the 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."

The Erie County Central Police Services followed with a statement saying that all the evidence given it by Hamburg police "is accounted for and remains in its original packaging in the possession" of the administrative criminal justice agency, which provides centralized support services to law enforcement agencies in the county. "This includes the evidence in the rape kit and the packaging itself," said the statement from John Glascott, county CPS commissioner. "This evidence has been analyzed and reports of that analysis sent to the proper agencies."




Eoannou said the evidence bag has the name of the alleged victim and the nurse who administered the rape kit and that he had the bag authenticated by the hospital. He said the accuser's mother found the bag at the front door Tuesday afternoon when she came home for lunch. Eoannou said:

It's significant. I'm not going to speculate. I can only say that the evidence bag was torn open. Evidence bags are normally stored at the CPS lab or the police department or sometimes the district attorney's office and I've never seen one outside of a legal setting.

Vincent Doyle III, former president of the New York State Bar Association, said:

If it's true, it is a very significant breach of the chain of custody, which is a very important part of getting any piece of evidence admitted in court. It's a necessary step in a judge's review of whether a piece of evidence should come in or not — whether it's been handled properly and securely by law enforcement. We're all familiar with well-publicized cases where there are accusations of tampering with evidence. But this is something entirely new. I never remember even reading about something like this. Because alleged victims in sexual assault cases are not named publicly, for this to be brought to the home address of the accuser's family suggests someone with some inside knowledge of the investigation.

Kane spoke publicly about the case for the first time last week at Blackhawks training camp. He said he's done nothing wrong and would be absolved of any wrongdoing, though he apologized to teammates and fans for being a distraction. He declined to answer questions.

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