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Eoannou drops Kane accuser as client over ‘misrepresentations’ of evidence bag

Buffalo attorney Thomas Eoannou has dropped the Patrick Kane accuser as a client over “misrepresentations” of the evidence bag left at the home of the accuser’s mother.

“I don’t have confidence in the way the bag was found,” Eoannou said at a promptly called news conference Thursday night.

Eoannou’s statement led Kane’s attorney, Paul J. Cambria, to say there is little doubt in his mind that the woman’s entire complaint against Kane is a fabrication.

One day earlier, a news conference was held by Eoannou to announce that the rape kit evidence bag that had contained DNA evidence collected in the Kane investigation was anonymously delivered to the mother of the alleged victim. The mother of the alleged victim found the torn bag at her home, sandwiched between the storm door and the front door at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“This case needs to go away. It’s tainted from one end to the other,” Cambria told The Buffalo News. “It’s obvious to me that Eoannou dropped out of the case because he was lied to by his client’s family. They fabricated evidence. I told you yesterday that this whole thing was a hoax, and now it is obvious.”

Cambria, who called his own news conference late Thursday, said he hopes the latest developments help to convince police and the District Attorney’s Office that the allegations the woman made about being attacked by Kane last month are false.

“You can’t trust anything about this case,” he said.

Reacting late Thursday night to Eoannou’s departure from the case, Steve M. Cohen, a top area defense lawyer, said:

“I respect the actions of Mr. Eoannou because it appears that ethical questions have arisen and as a responsible attorney he cannot permit himself to be a part of that. Not enough facts are known to ascertain the real situation of what has gone on. But I am certain that Frank Sedita will get to the bottom of this.”

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III declined to comment late Thursday, only saying that he will “address these matters” at a news conference Friday morning.

Eoannou on Wednesday told The News that the evidence bag development “calls into question the integrity of all the physical evidence in this case.”

Sedita had told The News that Eoannou’s allegations about the evidence “will definitely be investigated.” He said he was surprised to hear that an evidence bag had been left at the home of the alleged victim’s mother and said he has never heard of such a thing in more than 27 years as a prosecutor.

“In 27-plus years, I’ve never seen a rape kit tampered with,” Sedita said. “It will be investigated, professionally investigated.”

According to sources familiar with the complaint, the woman said Kane raped her early on the morning of Aug. 2, after meeting her in a downtown Buffalo nightclub and inviting the woman and a female friend to a private gathering in his home.

After the alleged attack, the woman abruptly left Kane’s home and called her brother on a cellphone, asking him to pick her up. The woman then went to a local hospital to be examined for signs of rape and reported her allegations to Hamburg police.

Police went to Kane’s home the next day, looking for evidence. The investigation has proceeded under tight secrecy over the past seven weeks.

A number of witnesses have been questioned, The News learned, including the alleged victim, her female friend, a Buffalo restaurant operator who also was in Kane’s home at the time of the alleged attack, and several people who work at SkyBar, the downtown club where Kane met the woman.A county grand jury was scheduled to begin hearing witness testimony about the alleged crime, but that activity was abruptly postponed Sept. 8.

The News’ Tim Graham, Dan Herbeck and Nick Veronica contributed to this report.