Lawyer for Kane’s accuser quits case

Blackhawks’ Kane wins NHL’s Hart Trophy

The lawyer representing the accuser of Chicago Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane in a sexual assault allegation abruptly quit Thursday because of questions over evidence he previously believed was tampered with.

“I have an ethical responsibility to withdraw from the case, and I wished them the best of luck,” Thomas J. Eoannou said at a Thursday news conference.

Eoannou said he still believes the accuser was assaulted, but “no longer has confidence in the manner and means that (the allegedly tampered-with evidence) bag came to my office.”

It was another shocking development in the case, after Eoannou held a news conference Wednesday and said that an empty evidence bag was left in the doorway of the accuser’s mother’s home in Buffalo, N.Y. Eoannou said Wednesday the bag no longer contained the rape kit used when the woman reported that she had been assaulted.

He said the mother made the discovery when she came home from work for lunch Tuesday. He said the bag was authentic, labeled with personal identifying information for the woman, details on where the rape kit was used and the initials of the nurses who administered the kit.

Eoannou changed his tune drastically Thursday, saying, “The representations that were made to me were not accurate, and because I have no confidence in the story that was told to me, I’m withdrawing as their lawyer.”

The Hamburg (N.Y.) Police Department and the Erie County (N.Y.) Commissioner of Central Police Services both issued statements Wednesday, refuting Eoannou’s original claim, with the Hamburg Police saying the rape kit was “accounted for and remains in its original packaging.”

Kane’s attorney, Paul Cambria, confirmed reports Wednesday that no trace of Kane’s DNA was found from the waist down on the alleged victim.

The Erie County district attorney will hold a news conference Friday to address allegations of evidence tampering.