Buffalo Sabres star Evander Kane has been cleared of any wrongdoing after an investigation into a sexual encounter in December.
No accusation was ever made against Kane, but authorities said an investigation was started after a young woman who spent the night with Kane sought medical treatment at a local hospital and said she could not remember what happened.
The Erie County District Attorney’s Office and the Buffalo Police sex offense squad determined that nothing illegal occurred, sources familiar with the probe told The Buffalo News on Friday.
“There was never a criminal complaint filed. After a careful and diligent examination of all the known facts, including the results of forensic and toxicological testing, neither the provable facts nor the applicable law support the filing of any criminal charges or a prosecution in this matter,” acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. said in a statement.
At a press conference, Flaherty told reporters he feels badly for Kane because of all the publicity generated by the probe. He said Kane has been cooperative with authorities during the “thorough and exhaustive” investigation, which lasted about 10 weeks.
“If Mr. Kane was Evander Smith, none of you would be here,” Flaherty told reporters. “He didn’t ask for this ... It was put on him by forces beyond his control.”
Paul J. Cambria, Kane’s attorney, said the hockey player indicated to him that he is “relieved but not surprised.”
“After all the interviews that were conducted, after all the toxicology tests were completed, there was no evidence of a crime ... and there was no evidence to file any kind of charge,” Cambria said. “I spoke to my client. He was relieved, but not surprised in any way, because he did nothing wrong.”
Kane has stated that he had consensual sex with the woman after meeting her in a downtown bar Dec. 27 and taking her back to his hotel room, sources close to the case have said.
Hospital officials contacted police after finding evidence of trauma and examining the woman for signs of sexual assault. That resulted in police searches of Kane’s downtown hotel room and his sport utility vehicle.
“As I understand it, there are certain triggers that would cause hospital officials to” contact police about a possible sexual assault, Cambria said. “The reason this investigation started in the first place is that something triggered one of these automatic protocols. The young woman made no criminal complaint.”
On Dec. 28, one day after his encounter with the woman, Kane declared his innocence and said he respected the legal process:
“I just want to say I’ve done nothing wrong,” Kane told reporters in the team’s locker room at First Niagara Center. “I look forward to clearing my name.”
Cambria previously said his office conducted its own investigation and determined there was no basis for criminal charges against Kane.
He said toxicology tests are taken when police conduct such investigations, looking for DNA evidence and evidence of drugs in an individual’s bloodstream.
Two days ago, another of Cambria’s clients, Patrick Kane, the South Buffalo native who stars for the Chicago Blackhawks, was cleared in a National Hockey League investigation of a rape allegation dating back to August. The league determined the allegation was unfounded and there would be no disciplinary action against the league’s leading scorer.
The Erie County DA’s office four months ago decided not to pursue charges against Patrick Kane, who had also previously declared his innocence saying that he “did nothing wrong.”
A 21-year-old woman had claimed she was raped by Patrick Kane in his waterfront home on Old Lakeshore Road in Hamburg, after meeting at a downtown bar and going back to his home.
News Staff Reporter Jay Tokasz contributed to this report. email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org