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article imageNHL clears Patrick Kane, says sex assault allegations 'unfounded'

By Marcus Hondro     Mar 9, 2016 in Sports
Four months after the prosecutor in the case decided not to recommend charges against Patrick Kane, the NHL has completed its own investigation into the allegations and found them to be "unfounded." The league released its results on Wednesday.
Kane rape allegations
Kane, 27, was never charged with sexual assault or rape but he was under a cloud of suspicion after a woman went to police in Erie County, N.Y., outside of Buffalo, in August and claimed Kane had raped her. The unnamed woman claimed the alleged rape took place in Kane's home and in his bed.
The District Attorney in Erie Country conducted a three-month investigation and in early November did not recommend charges to an Erie County Grand Jury.
At that time the woman voluntarily signed a “Non-Prosecution Affidavit” stating she did not wish to go forward with charges.
The case had become clouded in September after her lawyer, Thomas Eoannou, had resigned, stating he had difficulty believing some of the information he'd been given by the complainant and her mother.
The Erie County District Attorney's office said the evidence did not support Kane being charged. Among other things, the DA said that "DNA results lend no corroboration whatsoever to the complainant’s claim of penetration, a required element of proof for a rape charge" and that there were "significant material inconsistencies between the complainant’s accounts and those of other witnesses."
NHL conducts review
The league was under pressure from some media to suspend Kane while the matter was still before the District Attorney, with Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun and Christine Brennan of U.S.A. Today, and others, calling for Kane to be stripped of his right to play while the investigation was ongoing.
The league resisted doing so, saying it would wait until the results of the DA's investigation were in. Once those results were made public and Kane was in essence exonerated, it said they would conduct a "review" of all the information available and, four months later, it is the results of that review it made public today.
"The National Hockey League announced today that it has completed its independent review of the Patrick Kane matter, the final stage of which included an in-person meeting between Kane and Commissioner Gary Bettman in New York on Monday, March 7," the league said in its statement.
"Based on its review, including the determination made by the Erie County District Attorney not to pursue charges, the NHL has concluded that the allegations made against Kane were unfounded," the statement added. "The League considers the matter closed and will have no further comment."
Kane's response to being falsely accused of sexual assault just as his season was about to begin? He has gone on to have his best season in the NHL and leads the league in points with 89, which is 21 points ahead of second-place Tyler Seguin. Kane's 38 goals are second only to Alex Ovechkin's 41.
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