Former NHL draft pick hopes speaking out about alleged sexual abuse gives others "the power to come forward"
Former Chicago Blackhawks minor league player Kyle Beach told "CBS Mornings" on Thursday that he has begun healing after allegedly being sexually abused by former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010. Aldrich has denied the allegation.
"As I've begun this healing process and I've continued through this process since I contacted Susan [Loggans, who represents Beach] about a year and a half ago, it's been an amazing uplifting experience to share my story, to be able to speak out about my story, to have other people to talk about my story," Beach said.
"For me, realizing this and now looking back and kind of going over my life over the last 10, 11 years, there's a lot of things that I think I'd like to have back and a lot of moments that I've lost because ... I wasn't myself and I didn't have the capacity to manage those situations," he added.
Beach had been known as "John Doe" in a lawsuit he filed against the Blackhawks, but he told CBS News he is speaking out now to give others "a voice."
"So, for me right now, it's important to come forward to share my story because this is so much bigger than Kyle Beach. Yes, I'm a survivor, but there's millions of people in this world that have been affected by sexual abuse or sexual assault, and I'm speaking out now to hopefully give them a voice, to give them the power to come forward so that we can make a change in this world and hopefully make this a safer place in sports but also in work and life and every day," Beach said.
A 107-page report released Tuesday revealed Beach reported the alleged abuse to the team and concluded team executives took no action for weeks. The report says that then General Manager Stan Bowman recalled that in a meeting about the allegation at the time, executives including then Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville "made comments about the challenge of getting to the Stanley Cup finals and a desire to focus on the team and the playoffs." In July of this year, Quenneville, who now coaches the Florida Panthers, denied hearing the specific allegations.
In the wake of Tuesday's report, CBS News reached out to Aldrich for comment but did not get a response.
He told investigators the encounter with Beach was consensual. When asked about the report by the Associated Press, Aldrich responded, "I have nothing to say."
According to a claim in the report, Aldrich went on to allegedly assault a team intern (a claim which Aldrich says in the report he does not recall) before he was allowed to resign as a result of the Beach allegation. He held several other hockey jobs over the next four years with USA Hockey, in college and in high school. He pleaded guilty in 2013 to criminal sexual conduct with a 16-year-old hockey player in Michigan while volunteering at a high school there. That player is now suing the Blackhawks.
Beach spoke with Rick Westhead on Canada's TSN SportsCentre on Wednesday and emotionally told "CBS Mornings" that hearing the details of the report makes him "sick to my stomach."
"In the TSN interview yesterday with Rick Westhead, who has done an amazing job on this from day one, I broke down when he asked me if I would have anything to say to that boy," Beach said. "And my message to him was that I'm sorry because I feel like maybe I could have done more then to protect him."
Beach said when he found out about the incident it gave him the "courage and the strength and the power to ask for help."
In a statement, Blackhawks' management commended Beach's courage for coming forward and apologized "for what he has gone through and for the organization's failure to promptly respond when he bravely brought this matter to light in 2010. It was inexcusable for the then-executives of the Blackhawks organization to delay taking action regarding the reported sexual misconduct."
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and senior vice president Al MacIsaac are no longer part of the organization, having left following the release of the report. The NHL has also fined the Blackhawks $2 million.
for more features.