The investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Patrick Kane remains ongoing after the bizarre developments over the past two days, Erie County district attorney Frank A. Sedita said during a press conference Friday. Sedita also described the chain of custody for evidence in the case after claims of tampering were made Wednesday, and said the alleged victim isn't believed to be involved in that situation.
DA Sedita: Investigation into rape allegations is on-going. He will have no comment on that case.— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) September 25, 2015
Most of the news conference focused on claims of evidence tampering made by Thomas Eoannou, the accuser's former lawyer. Sedita directly refuted those claims by explaining how the evidence was handled by authorities, including a video feed of detectives with the evidence in police custody. He also noted that rape kits are placed in boxes, not bags as Eoannou had claimed.
Erie County DA Frank Sedita III says rape kits are not placed or submitted in bags. Rather, in boxes. #PowerPoint— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) September 25, 2015
Prosecutor Frank Sedita says kit has never left custody of crime lab since it was delivered there by police.— Stacy St. Clair (@StacyStClair) September 25, 2015
Sedita: SANE nurse provided brown paper bag to accuser's mother to collect accuser's top. Mother last known person to have brown bag.— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) September 25, 2015
Sedita: Neither bag shown at presser yesterday EVER contained a rape kit. Last person seen with brown bag was accuser's mother.— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) September 25, 2015
Sedita: Mother's statement that she found bag on front doorstep is untrue.— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) September 25, 2015
Sedita: Accuser's mother engaged in elaborate hoax. Sins of mother not visited on daughter, unless find daughter was involved. Not there yet— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) September 25, 2015
Sedita: "Though Mr. Eaonnou was being reckless, I think he was being sincere."— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) September 25, 2015
Eoannou announced his decision to withdraw representation from the alleged victim Thursday on the basis of ethical reasons. He stated that he "no longer has confidence" in the version of events he was provided by the alleged victim's mother, which described how the evidence bag was acquired. Eoannou shared that information during a news conference Wednesday, but now it appears to have been inaccurate. As a result, he was ethically required to recuse himself from the case.
Sedita insisted several times that the investigation of sexual assault allegations isn't currently affected by the developments over the past two days. Only if it can be shown the accuser had knowledge of the situation with the evidence bag would that have an impact on the case.
It's unclear whether the case will still go to a grand jury, however. "The question in my mind isn't when this case will go to a grand jury; it's if this case will go to a grand jury," Sedita said.
Patrick Kane prosecutor: "I'll weigh whether to administratively close the investigation" and what mom did will "definitely be a factor."— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) September 25, 2015
There is no timetable for the investigation into allegations of sexual assault, Sedita said.