Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane made his first appearance in court Monday and pleaded not guilty to six charges, including one misdemeanor trespassing charge, one charge of disorderly conduct and four charges of non-criminal harassment.
The court date came less than two weeks after Kane, 25, was charged and handcuffed outside Buffalo’s Central Booking Bureau and charged July 22. The charges stem from an incident which allegedly occurred in late-June at a bar in downtown Buffalo.
The Buffalo News reported that a bouncer at a downtown bar said he got into an altercation with Kane while trying to remove the Sabres winger from the bar following complaints about his behavior. Three women also gave statements about the alleged incident, and each woman said Kane grabbed them, according to the Buffalo News. One woman told police she was grabbed by the neck, another said she was grabbed by the wrist and another said her hair was pulled.
Kane’s lawyer, Paul J. Cambria, Jr., said the events from the evening have been blown out of proportion.
“The allegations that I read in the paper and so on are extremely exaggerated,” Cambria said, via the Buffalo News. “I’ve seen the video – the video doesn’t back these things up.”
Per the Buffalo News, Cambria added that Kane “denies strenuously any wrongdoing,” and said the bouncer needs to take another look at the video.
“People can accuse other people of a lot of things for a lot of different motives,” Cambria said, via the Buffalo News. “We’ve seen that...And people make accusations about other people and courtrooms are where you find out what’s true and what’s fiction.”
Michael J. Flaherty, Jr., the acting Erie County District Attorney, said Kane’s case will be treated the same as all cases moving forward. If convicted, Kane could face up to 90 days in jail for the misdemeanor charge, though Flaherty said it’s rare for first-time offenders to see jail time.
“The reality is that for first-time offenders, anybody, whether you are a hockey player or just an ordinary guy convicted of those offenses, the reality is you…rarely go to jail,” Flaherty said, via the Buffalo News.
Kane recently completed his first campaign with the Sabres. In 65 games, he scored 20 goals and 35 points while averaging more than 21 minutes of ice time per game. Kane was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets in a blockbuster deal in February 2015.
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