Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita announced Thursday an investigation into allegations of rape against Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane will be dismissed.
The decision comes just days after the 21-year-old woman who accused Kane of rape over the summer in New York said she no longer wants to cooperate with an investigation into her claims.
"There are significant material inconsistencies between the complainant’s accounts and those of other witnesses," Sedita said in a Thursday morning statement. "The DNA results lend no corroboration whatsoever to the complainant’s claim of penetration, a required element of proof for a rape charge."
Sedita said the forensic evidence contradicted the complainant’s claim that she was raped on Kane’s bed. He also said there were no incriminating statements made by Kane to anyone authorities spoke to throughout the exhaustive 3-month investigation that connected him to the alleged crime.
In a statement released after the decision, Kane said he's glad the matter is closed.
“I have repeatedly said that I did nothing wrong," Kane said. "I have respected the legal process and I am glad that this matter has now been closed and I will have nothing further to say going forward.”
Earlier in the week, the woman notified the Erie County District Attorney’s office of her decision, saying the investigation has caused stress on her and her family and she no longer wants to participate.
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The woman signed a “Non-Prosecution Affidavit," according to Sedita, where she stated, in part: “After fully discussing all the circumstances with my attorney, I have decided I do not wish to criminally prosecute the charges which stem out of this investigation. I do so of my own free will and without any promises or compensation.”
Sedita says that was one of the most important factors in his decision to not move forward with criminal prosecution by bringing the case to an Erie County Grand Jury.
"We prosecute when the credible evidence, likely admissible in court, proves a crime was committed and proves the accused committed it," Sedita said. "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."
So with that, the case was officially closed.
Upon hearing the news, Kane's attorney, Paul Cambria, told NBC Chicago: "Our investigation agrees with the District Attorneys and I am not surprised that they are not going forward."
"We maintained Patrick’s innocence all along," Cambria said. "It’s time to put this in the past."
The Blackhawks also released a statement saying they respect the decision and the legal process.
“We respect the announcement today by the Erie County (N.Y.) District Attorney regarding Patrick Kane," the team said. "The Chicago Blackhawks organization has taken this matter very seriously, and has tried to navigate a very sensitive situation while continually respecting the legal proceedings. At this time we will have no further comment.”
When asked for comment before the decision, Kane, 26, echoed previous statements about wanting to wait for the case to be resolved before addressing the reports, though he told reporters in a press conference in September that he is confident authorities will find he did "nothing wrong."
"There's been a lot of reports, a lot of things that have been said that have been wrong, a lot of things that have been said that were maybe accurate, too, but we've kind of stayed even keel the whole time and not really saying much, and actually leaving it to the facts and what actually happened instead of going off sources and different reports," Kane said.
Three months ago, a woman told police Kane had sexually assaulted her at his home in Hamburg, New York, according to reports. A rape kit conducted after the claims were made showed no presence of Kane’s DNA below the woman’s waist, however.
In September, Thomas Eaonnou, the former lawyer for the family of the alleged victim told reporters the victim's mother had found the evidence bag inside the door of her home. At that time, he suggested the bag had once contained the woman's rape kit and called into question all of the test results. Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita later told reporters the mother's claims were part of an "elaborate hoax." Eaonnou later withdrew the accusation, saying he had been misled by the mother, and resigned from the case.
The accuser’s remaining attorney, Rolan Cercone, wrote in a Septemeber letter to the editor for the Buffalo News that the young woman "had no knowledge of -- or anything to do with -- this entire fiasco,” but added that she was "ready, willing and able to cooperate as she has always done throughout this investigation."