While we’re learning a bunch about the justice system in New York, we still haven’t learned anything about the facts in this case and whether Patrick Kane is guilty.
My goodness, aren’t we learning so much about the criminal justice system lately? Thanks to the Patrick Kane investigation, we’ve learned that rape kits are put in boxes, not bags. We’ve learned that there doesn’t appear to be any New York state laws around the fabrication of evidence presented to a civilian. And we’re learning that when DNA evidence surfaces that is favorable to the accused, it must be turned over by prosecutors to the accused’s attorneys.
What a lot of people are still having a difficult time with, though, is the concept of due process, for both the accused and the alleged victim. More than a month after an alleged incident took place in Kane’s Buffalo home, the Chicago Blackhawks star has been charged with nothing.
But that has not stopped wild speculation from running rampant on both sides. It has not prevented a disturbing case of victim blaming. It has not stopped some from declaring Kane either guilty or innocent despite the absence of facts.
And it has not prevented some of the most bizarre things from happening, all of which came to a head Friday when Erie County district attorney Frank A. Sedita III revealed that the apparent evidence tampering of the rape kit that surfaced Thursday was “an elaborate hoax” perpetrated by the victim’s mother.
None of what has happened over the past two days should have any bearing on this investigation. As Sedita pointed out, the investigation will continue and Kane will either be charged or he will not.
So what have we learned here, boys and girls? We’ll, for one, perhaps we should not be rushing to judgement here. So far Kane is guilty of nothing. That may change, but as of this moment he has every right to be in the Chicago Blackhawks training camp. If he is charged, everything changes. Until then, nothing does.
Neither does it mean that even though evidence was apparently fabricated in an elaborate scheme and accepted by a lawyer who didn’t do his homework, that the alleged victim is lying about everything else. This rape allegation still stands alone.
Sedita bristled when asked how an elected official could allow this case to get this out of control.
“Are you kidding me?” he said. “Seriously, are you kidding me? My office is not responsible for this circus.”
And that’s exactly what this has become. How this impacts the actual rape allegation is anyone’s guess.
But the core matter remains the same. Either a rape occurred the night of Aug. 2 at Patrick Kane’s house or it did not.
Until then, Kane deserves the opportunity to work and make a living and the alleged victim deserves to be left alone. This white noise isn’t helping anyone.