Blackhawks' Kane, rape accuser reportedly working to reach settlement

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The Chicago Tribune quotes sources as saying the two sides in the Patrick Kane rape case are working to reach a settlement that would potentially end the criminal investigation.

But according to the Tribune, those sources say both sides feel wronged and have threatened to walk away.

As FOX 32’s Dane Placko reports, the case has people divided on how the Blackhawks should be handling training camp.

The Blackhawks decision to bring Patrick Kane to training camp lit up the phone lines at the Score Sports Radio.

"Right now it's just an accusation. The man should be in camp," one caller said.

Most fans defended the Blackhawks star.

"We don't know if he's guilty or not guilty. And automatically in sports we look at the athlete as possibly guilty," another caller said.

But Jason Goff points out while it will certainly create a media circus at hawks camp, the decision may be out of the Blackhawks’ hands.

"Unless they're dealing with something from the NHL or Gary Bettman regarding the CBA, where if there's no charges filed they have to bring him along or whatever the case may be, an image-conscious franchise, or as image-conscious as they have been, it's a surprise no doubt about it," Goff said.

"I’m disappointed," said Sharmili Majmudar of Rape Victim Advocates.

Majmudar says she too is surprised by the Blackhawks decision, which she says sends an unmistakable message.

"I think they're sending a message of Kane’s value as a player above the message of what the Blackhawks will tolerate as it relates to gender based violence," Majmudar said.

FOX 32: In other words, his athletic ability is more important than the cloud hanging over his head right now?

"I think so," she added.

Majmudar says the Blackhawks and NHL can mitigate the damage by making it a priority this season to provide training to players about issues involving sexual assault and domestic abuse.

At the Blackhawks store, Kane’s 88 jersey is still featured in the front window facing North Michigan Avenue.

"I think it's just a big publicity stunt personally. That’s just my opinion. I just think it's some lady who wanted attention," a Chicago woman said.

"He’s a very integral part of the team. He just needs to grow up," another added.

Kane’s accuser continues to cooperate with buffalo police, according to sources.

But Majmudar says it's not uncommon for allegations of sexual assault to take months to resolve, which means if Kane plays, it could be under a shadow of suspicion for much of the upcoming season.

The team will hold a news conference Thursday in South Bend at 2pm.

The Blackhawks’ Stan Bowman, John McDonough, and Joel Quenneville are expected to address Kane’s status.