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Attorney For Patrick Kane Accuser Drops Client

(CBS) -- The woman accusing Blackhawks player Patrick Kane of sexual assault was dropped Thursday by her attorney, who walked back previous assertions that rape-kit evidence had been tampered with.

An evidence bag from a rape kit reportedly was found at the residence of the alleged victim's mother Tuesday afternoon. While the bag was genuine, attorney Thomas Eoannou said, new information his office received caused him to doubt the chain of events that was described to him by a family member.

"I don't have confidence in the version that was provided to me," Eoannou said Thursday night during a news conference at his Buffalo, N.Y., office to announce he would no longer represent the alleged victim.

He declined to provide details and said the bombshell development shouldn't automatically discredit the central allegation that Kane sexually assaulted his former client.

The unnamed woman says Kane raped her Aug. 2 at Kane's lakefront home in Hamburg, N.Y. -- allegations the hockey star denies. She was examined at a hospital, where a rape kit was administered.

A private attorney, Eoannou on Wednesday said the rape kit evidence bag that's so critical to the case had been tampered with. He said it was anonymously left on the doorstep of the accuser's mother's home. Authorities immediately rejected that account and said the evidence was secure.

On Thursday, Eoannou said his office received new information that made the story about the evidence bag unravel.

Eoannou said he was ethically bound to share the development publicly.

Erie County (N.Y.) District Attorney Frank Sedita III was expected to hold a news conference Friday in Buffalo. It wasn't immediately clear how Thursday's bombshell announcement would affect an investigation into the original rape claim.

Paul Cambria, the legal representative for Kane, says someone had tried to fabricate evidence against his client.

"The integrity of the investigation is forever tainted," Cambria said at his own news conference.

On Thursday night, Cambria said he hadn't yet spoken to Kane.

The Buffalo News reported over the weekend that some of the rape-kit evidence test results landed in Kane's favor -- including that none of his DNA was found in swabs from the woman's genital area or undergarments. However, some of his DNA was found in her fingernails and shoulders, the paper said, citing several unnamed sources.


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