But a tired-looking Eoannou said Thursday night he began to have doubts about the story around noon Thursday when “information was provided” that outlined “misrepresentations” about the evidence bag.
“I do not believe the way in which it was explained to me was the manner in which it was found,” he said, wearing a black pinstripe suit and speaking from the same location as the previous day. “I have looked into that and I do not have confidence in that version of the events.”
Eoannou read from a statement and took a few questions from reporters. At one point, he referred to Kane’s accuser by her first name — a mistake that he attributed to exhaustion.
Eoannou insisted the bag issue should not cast doubts on the woman’s sexual assault allegation. She still wants the case to move forward and said there was no evidence that she knew about the bag until her lawyer received it, according to a statement released by the family to Buffalo media.
The tampering accusation prompted an investigation by Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III, who had scheduled a news conference for Friday morning to address the allegation. Sedita has never publicly acknowledged the investigation into a 21-year-old western New York woman’s allegation that the 26-year-old winger raped her at his lakefront mansion early on Aug. 2.
He would not comment late Thursday.
The Tribune previously has reported that Kane spent the night of Aug. 1 at SkyBar, a popular nightclub about 15 miles from his Hamburg home, and he stayed past midnight with friends. An off-duty Buffalo police officer drove Kane, a male friend, the accuser and her friend to the player’s home after leaving the bar.
Multiple sources told the Tribune that the female friend — a college classmate — no longer fully backs the accuser’s version of events and has expressed reluctance to testify. Without her corroboration, it would be harder for prosecutors to move the case forward, those sources said.
An attorney for the accuser’s friend could not be reached for comment.
And in a sign of Cambria’s growing confidence that Kane won’t be charged, he went on the offensive against Kane’s accuser Thursday night. Calling Kane the “victim” in the case, Cambria suggested the superstar may sue the woman for defamation when the investigation ends.
“I feel Patrick Kane has been victimized,” Cambria said.
Cambria — who held a news conference at his home late Thursday — said charges should be brought against anyone intentionally misrepresented the bag’s origins. He expects Sedita to investigate the situation.
“That’s what should happen here,” Cambria said. “Anyone who is doing that sort of thing should be indicted.”
The Erie County crime lab said in a statement Wednesday that all evidence in the Kane investigation was accounted for and was still in its original evidence package, which suggests that the bag purportedly left on the doorstep may not be connected to the case. A spokesman would not say if the label or markings on the bag were consistent with those used by local law enforcement.
The Hamburg Police Department, which conducted the initial investigation, called its handling of the evidence “unassailable.”
Eoannou said Thursday that it’s a real evidence bag, but he did not explain how it was obtained. The label contained privileged information such as the accuser’s birthday and the nurse’s initials.
“The bag is a real evidence bag from this case,” he said. “There’s no question about that.”
The Blackhawks are scheduled to be in Montreal for a preseason game Friday, but it is unclear if Kane and other top players will be traveling there. Cambria told the Tribune earlier Thursday that he had spoken with Kane about the evidence bag, but he declined to discuss the player’s reaction.
“He’s fine now that he’s playing hockey. That’s his whole life,” Cambria said. “We’re all paying attention, trying to work toward this being resolved and over.”