The criminal investigation of Blackhawks star Patrick Kane took a stunning, made-for-TV turn of events Wednesday, as the evidence bag that once contained the rape kit of his alleged victim randomly and anonymously showed up on the doorstep of the alleged victim’s mother.
“It’s completely crazy,” former criminal defense attorney and current Chicago 670 The Score host Julie DiCaro said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I said to someone today that I think an SVU marathon would be about as helpful as deciphering this. There’s a lot of gray areas.”
As DiCaro explained, all evidence for criminal investigations go into evidence bags, which are sealed and meticulously documented.
“Anytime they’re opened or anytime custody of them is transferred from one person to another or another department, it’s all written down,” DiCaro said. “The thing about these bags is they’re very difficult to get your hands on. They basically exist with the police and with the DA. It’s not the kind of thing you can go to the office-supply store and buy, and they don’t throw these away when they’re done. They’re destroyed. They’re really carefully guarded so that people can’t get their hands on them and try to create evidence or whatever.”
Which makes the evidence bag showing up on a doorstep so peculiar.
“No one rang the doorbell,” DiCaro said. “Someone just left it there, and it had been ripped open and it had been all folded up. The accuser’s attorney (Thomas Eoannou) said that it looked like someone was trying to throw it away. So he’s saying that this is the original bag that the rape kit was in, it’s been comprised, we don’t know how this happened, but it never should have happened and we want an investigation.”
But it doesn’t end there.
“The Erie County Police are also saying, ‘Well, guess what? We’ve got the original bag here, it still has the rape kit in it, and it hasn’t been compromised,’” DiCaro explained. “So we’ve sort of got this dueling duplicate bag thing with both sides thinking they have the original bag. And the reason it matters is because establishing a chain of custody of where the evidence has been and who’s handled it is really important for evidence to be able to come in as admissible at trial. So this sort of calls all the DNA evidence and all the rape-kit evidence now into question.”
That, one might assume, is good for Kane.
“Having evidence be compromised really hurts both sides,” DiCaro said. “On the one hand, it looks really bad because Patrick Kane, on the night in question, had a body guard who also is in the Hamburg Police (Department) and he drove him home. So a lot of people, immediately when they heard this, the first thing they said was, ‘Oh, it’s Patrick Kane’s friends in the police department. They tried to get rid of the evidence.’ So it looks really bad from a PR standpoint. But the other thing is – and we don’t know if the evidence was compromised before it was tested or if it was compromised at all – but these DNA results were leaked that said there was no evidence that Patrick Kane and this woman had had sex. So now if I’m his attorney, I’m saying that was evidence that could exonerate my client and now I don’t have it anymore. He’s lost that as a huge piece of his defense. So both sides really have an incentive to be jumping up and down and screaming to get to the bottom of this. So the DA has now opened an investigation into this, and we’re just going to have to wait and see what they come up with.”