An alleged evidence bag found at the home of Patrick Kane’s accuser’s mother is a “hoax,” Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III said on Friday morning.
Sedita explained how the forensic evidence in the investigation “was not tampered with or compromised,” — he used video to show the timeline of evidence being dropped off at the CPS lab on August 2 — and that the bag the mother reported being left at her home did not contain a rape kit.
“Rape kits are not submitted in bags. A rape kit is a box,” said Sedita, who showed a sample rape-kit box during the press conference. “Neither bag (the plastic bag and the brown paper bag inside of it) contained a rape kit. The forensic evidence was not tampered with or compromised. The last person seen with the brown paper bag on Aug. 2 was the same person who purportedly discovered the bag on Sept. 22: the complainant’s mother.”
Sedita held the press conference, which lasted about 45 minutes, to discuss the office’s findings regarding the bag that was supposedly left at the mother’s home on Tuesday afternoon.
Thomas Eoannou, who represented the victim at that time, said at a press conference that night that the accuser’s mother found the bag at the front door of her home and that he confirmed it to be authentic. But on Wednesday night Eoannou withdrew from the case because he believed there were “fabrications” in the story of how the bag was found.
The accuser’s mother, who Sedita said accompanied her daughter to the hospital for the rape-kit test on Aug. 2, was given the bag to put her daughter’s “top” in — the accuser apparently changed shirts before going to the hospital to have the rape kit done.
Sedita said that, as far as he knew, it was not a crime under New York law “to make fraudulent representations to a private person.” He added that he would check to make sure of that.
“The preliminary assessment is it’s clearly immoral, but not illegal under NY law,” he said.
Asked how he thought this would impact the investigation, Sedita said, “it depends.”
“The purpose of this investigation [of the bag left at the accuser’s mother’s home] was to see if there was evidence tampering. There was not evidence tampering,” Sedita said. “We believe a person, the complainant’s mother, is engaged in an elaborate hoax. The sins of the mother and father are not usually transferable to daughter or son. However, if complainant was involved, it could be relevant. We haven’t gotten that far yet.”
Kane has not been charged with any crime. There was supposed to be a grand jury hearing on this case in early September; that was postponed. Asked when a grand jury could see evidence, Sedita said, “the question in my mind isn’t when this case will go to a grand jury, it’s if this case will go to a grand jury.”
Paul Cambria, who is representing Kane in this investigation, had previously said that the evidence wasn’t compromised. He reiterated that in a press conference late this morning.
“I had no doubt that the integrity of the evidence was going to be intact,” Cambria said. “I had confidence people had collected and tested it properly. They proved that today in spades. I said that from the beginning it was a hoax.”
Sedita talked of how “bizarre” the situation has been.
“I can’t watch a football game anymore. It’s nuts. It’s just so bizarre,” he said. “I saw that press conference that Tom (Eoannou) did a few days ago, then we did the investigation, I spoke to Tom and then I started getting all these texts, emails and tweets, then breaking into the [football] game and, I don’t know how to answer it. I’ve never seen something like this before.”
Cambria said he hasn’t talked to Kane yet today on the latest events, but that he will. Cambria also talked of the cautionary tale of all of all of this.
“I think it underscores what I’ve said at the beginning: don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t be surprised by anything in a legal system,” he said. “This is clearly demonstrating you should keep an open mind until all the facts are in and any steps, links, efforts are possible in legal cases.”