When Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III released his statement today announcing that the "so-called 'case"" against Patrick Kane would not even be presented to a grand jury, it represented about as complete an exoneration as an accused person ever receives. The DA's statement was dismissive and sarcastic, and didn't even mention the bizarre hoax involving the evidence bag. It is almost as if the DA is trying to discourage the accuser from filing a civil case against Kane.
The DA's public statement says that he sent the parties' lawyers a more detailed and confidential letter regarding the "investigative findings and the reasons for the decision not to criminally prosecute this matter." We may never see that letter but there was no obligation for the DA to provide it. It won't be admissible as evidence in a civil case, but it is a safe bet that it reads mostly in favor of Kane.
For what it's worth, the DA's statement made no direct mention of the hoax involving the evidence bag. That bizarre incident led the DA to hold a press conference where he adamantly defended the integrity of his office and it's handling of the case. I still wonder just what the hell was going on in the mother's mind that would make her go through with that hoax. The hoax was so obviously a hoax that I can't believe the mother thought it would work, so I discount the theory that she was trying to create a suggestion of evidence tampering.
The only explanation I can think of is that she was actually taking a fall for her daughter. That is, I can imagine the mother wanted to protect her daughter from the enormous burden of pursuing a criminal charge against a famous, powerful, local hero. Or maybe she even just disbelieved her own daughter and wanted to protect her from being found out as a liar, so she used the bag as a hoax that would likely lead to the charges being dropped. Whatever her motivation, it will be a big part of what this case is remembered for.
Meanwhile, the NHL seemed well-prepared for today's announcement. Not long after the DA announced the case was closed, the NHL released a statement claiming they would be reviewing "the information that may now be available to us." First, in the aftermath of the NFL's countless and ongoing debacles with respect to violence towards women, the NHL would be complete idiots if they did not at least say there were reviewing the matter. Second, when they say they are reviewing the information that "may now be available" to them, they're saying that they do not have the confidential letter the DA provided to the lawyers for Kane and the victim.
I would not expect Kane's lawyers to release that letter at least until after the NHL decides what to do. Based on the DA's public statement, I see zero reason that the NHL could rely upon to impose discipline against Kane. Nor can I understand why the NHL would want to call any more negative attention to the matter by disciplining him. I would expect a one-paragraph statement, perhaps next Friday or right before Thanksgiving, stating that Kane won't be disciplined by the League.
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Filed under: Patrick Kane