The Erie County District Attorney’s office announced Thursday morning that hockey player Patrick Kane won’t face rape charges. Earlier this week, reports indicated that the alleged victim in the case had stopped cooperating with the investigation.
District Attorney Frank Sedita III issued a statement saying his office will not pursue charges based on, among other things, a lack of DNA evidence to support the allegations and “significant material inconsistencies between the complainant’s accounts and those of other witnesses.” He also confirmed the woman who accused Kane of rape had consulted with her attorney and filed an affidavit of non-prosecution, signaling she didn’t want the case to be criminally prosecuted.
In the release, Sedita says the complainant’s unwilligness to move forward with the charges wasn’t the sole determining factor:
A complainant’s willingness or reluctance to go forward is an important factor in determining whether a criminal prosecution, brought by this office on behalf of the People of the State of New York, will go forward. It is not, however, decisive. In other words, a complainant’s allegations, standing alone, do not trigger a criminal prosecution; nor does a complainant’s wish to withdraw charges, standing alone, determine whether a criminal case will be terminated.
Our prosecution standard is proof-based and has been stated on many occasions: consistent with the discretion afforded to the District Attorney under the law, we prosecute when the credible evidence, likely admissible in court, proves a crime was committed and proves the accused committed it.
The totality of the credible evidence — the proof — does not sufficiently substantiate the complainant’s allegation that she was raped by Patrick Kane and this so-called “case” is rife with reasonable doubt. Accordingly, the Office of the Erie County District Attorney will not present this matter to an Erie County Grand Jury.
A confidential correspondence has been sent to the Town Hamburg Police Chief (with copies forwarded to legal counsel for the complainant and Mr. Kane), setting forth in greater detail the investigative findings and the reasons for the decision not to criminally prosecute this matter.
The District Attorney will not be holding a press conference.
It’s possible that the complainant could bring a civil suit against Kane; she has reportedly retained a personal injury attorney.
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Kane on ice in October 2015. Photo via Getty