Evidence tampering claims in NHL star Kane's rape case a hoax: prosecutor

Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:42pm EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) - A prosecutor looking into allegations of sexual assault by NHL star Patrick Kane in New York said on Friday claims of evidence tampering was an "elaborate hoax" by the alleged victim's mother and that the case's rape kit was secure and in police custody.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III said he was still investigating allegations that Kane, one of the National Hockey League's best players, raped a woman last month at his lakeshore home outside Buffalo, New York.

Sedita, however, rejected claims by a lawyer who represented Kane's accuser that an open bag that once contained the case's rape kit was found on Sept. 22 on the doorstep of the alleged victim's mother.

He told a news conference in Buffalo that the rape kit was never placed in a bag and it was always in a box.

In a bizarre twist, Sedita said the bag that was said to be found on the doorstep was from the hospital and contained a top that the accuser wore when she went to the hospital. He said the alleged victim's mother had left the hospital with the bag.

"The forensic evidence in this case was not tampered with, nor was it compromised," he said. "And the last person seen with the brown paper bag ... is the same person who purportedly discovered the brown paper bag."

Sedita said it was unlikely that charges would be filed against the accuser's mother because she committed no crime although what she allegedly did was "clearly immoral."

"We believe that the complainant's mother is engaged in an elaborate hoax," he said. "She denies it, by the way, but I don't believe her denials."   Continued...

Chicago Blackhawks player Patrick Kane talks with media during media day the day before the 2015 Stanley Cup Final in Tampa, Florida June 2, 2015.  Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports/Files