BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – In a press conference Friday morning, Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita addressed claims that evidence in the Patrick Kane alleged rape investigation had been tampered with.
SUMMARY OF MAIN POINTS
- DA Frank Sedita identified who he said is the perpetrator of what he called a “hoax” involving an evidence bag which was misidentified as containing a rape kit, as the alleged victim’s mother
- According to Sedita if the accuser is in any way involved in that “hoax”, that will factor whether he will bring the case to a grand jury
- Sedita called press conference Friday morning to defend the investigative actions of the law enforcement agencies that were involved
- The district attorney established chain of custody through video evidence, documentary evidence and witness statements
- Sedita said he does not think the alleged victim’s ex-attorney Thomas Eoannou thought the evidence bag was a “hoax”; Eoannou was a victim as well, according to the DA
- DA said he longer has direct access to the complaintant because she’s represented by council and he must go through her lawyer to get a statement
The claims were made Wednesday by the ex-attorney for Kane’s accuser. Thomas Eoannou removed himself from the alleged victim’s case Thursday evening after he said he no longer has confidence in what was told to him by his ex-client’s family.
Allegations were made that an evidence bag once containing a rape kit was delivered to the alleged victim’s mother’s home.
District Attorney Sedita asserted Friday morning that the evidence bag shown to the media on Wednesday by Eoannou never contained a rape kit and was given to the alleged victim to transport clothing home in and has been in her and her family’s possession since the day after the alleged crime took place.
Sedita showed video footage of Hamburg Police picking up the rape kit evidence box which was delivered to Central Police Services. He emphasized that rape kits are stored in boxes, not evidence bags.
Sedita emphasized that it would be a factor for grand jury decision if the accuser knew about what he refers to as a “hoax” involving the evidence bag. He said, “The nexus is, did the complainant herself participate, and or know of this rouse.”
The Associated Press reported that the woman’s mother declined an interview request Thursday night after Eoannou said he was quitting the case. She referred to a statement the family released to reporters that said they were disappointed the attorney was withdrawing.
“We have every intention of pursuing this case to a just conclusion,” the statement said. “It must be emphasized that there exists no evidence or allegation that the accuser herself had any knowledge of the evidence bag until it was brought to Mr. Eoannou’s office.”
Sedita explained that rape kits are delivered directly by police to CPS and aren’t put in evidence bags like the one shown Wednesday. According to Sedita, any suggestion that evidence had been contained within the bag shown and that evidence was tampered with is false.
In statements made to the media later Friday, Kane’s attorney Paul Cambria did not discount the possibility of a civil suit being filed. “Those things are not out of the realm of possibility. This is a very serious thing. Obviously, Mr. Sedita is taking it very seriously. He indicated it could have an impact on his course of action going forward which is a reasonably position. It could very well have an impact on what we do going forward,” Cambria said.
Watch the entire press conference from DA Sedita below.
Watch an interview with a News 4 legal analyst about Sedita’s press conference below.