After a three-month investigation, Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane will not be charged with rape. According to prosecutors, the case was “rife with reasonable doubt.”
Thursday morning, prosecutors from west New York released a statement saying that the case was full of “material inconsistencies” between the statement given by the accuser and what witnesses had to say. The forensic evidence contradicted claims that the accuser was raped in Kane’s bed. There was no proof of penetration, a required element in order to place a rape charge.
The latest development came after Kane’s accuser, a 21-year-old college student, said that she no longer wished to pursue a criminal case against him. She cited the stress and emotional toll that the investigation was putting on her and her family as the reason for stopping the investigation.
The latest development comes as a relief to the Chicago Blackhawks. The team faced significant criticism for allowing 26-year-old Kane to begin the season despite the rape charges not being resolved. While some Blackhawks fans were happy to see Kane on the ice, he was heckled while visiting teams in other cities. Kane leads the Blackhawks in points after the first 13 games of the season.
Kane could still face punishment from the NHL in the form of a suspension if they deem that his off-ice conduct is detrimental to the league, though at this point is seems highly unlikely. So far, the league has approved of how the Blackhawks have been handling Kane’s investigation.
The case has been a bizarre one, filled with all sorts of twists and turns. Most notably was the appearance of a brown paper bag that was said the have the forensic evidence from the rape kit performed on Kane’s accuser. The bag was deemed to be a hoax and prosecutors said it would not affect the trial unless the accuser was found to be involved somehow.
Kane’s issues with drinking have led to previous issues for the young NHL player. In 2009, he plead guilty to a noncriminal violation of disorderly conduct for an altercation with a Buffalo cab driver. In 2012, Kane was involved in an altercation outside of a bar while celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Police told Kane to move along and he complied. He was not arrested.
It appears that Kane’s drinking has been an issue in the past and raises questions as to if it will continue to be an issue for the young NHL star. At the Blackhawks training camp, both President John McDonough and Kane declined to comment about whether or not Kane needed to stop drinking.