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Blackhawks sexual assault scandal, explained: GM Stan Bowman steps aside, full timeline of 2010 incident

Content material warning: This story incorporates particulars about alleged sexual assault.

The Blackhawks introduced on Oct. 26 the outcomes of an unbiased investigation following allegations of sexual assault by a former participant and the next coverup by group officers.

“It’s clear the group and its executives at the moment didn’t stay as much as our personal requirements or values in dealing with these disturbing incidents,” a letter to the community from the Blackhawks learn. “We deeply remorse the hurt induced to John Doe and the opposite people who had been affected and the failure to promptly reply. As a corporation, we prolong our profound apologies to the people who suffered from these experiences. We should — and can — do higher.”

On a Zoom name with reporters, group proprietor Rocky Wirtz, CEO Danny Wirtz and former federal prosecutor Reid Schar, who ran the investigation together with his regulation agency Jenner & Block LLP, made statements that supplied data and the outcomes of the findings from the investigation.

The report, an in depth 107-page doc that was delivered to the Wirtz’s on Monday, describes the incidents that occurred in 2010 and the dearth of an investigation by the Blackhawks group.

On Wednesday, Kyle Seashore got here ahead as “John Doe” and spoke to TSN’s Rick Westhead in an emotional 27-minute interview. 

“Only a nice feeling of aid and vindication, and it was not my phrase in opposition to everyone else’s,” he stated. “As a result of a variety of issues had been made public, lots of people had been interviewed, and I actually felt like there was a variety of lies informed within the media. And it was very particular and necessary to me to have that reality come out yesterday.”

What are the allegations?

On Might 7, 2021, an unnamed former Blackhawks participant (known as John Doe 1) filed a lawsuit in an Illinois courtroom in opposition to the group. The submitting alleges the Blackhawks ignored the participant and a teammate’s disclosure of then video coach Brad Aldrich’s sexual assault in 2010.

“This whole man’s life has been destroyed,” Susan Loggans, the previous participant’s legal professional, told Chicago public radio station WBEZ in June. “These skilled athletes must operate on the prime of their sport always so as to be aggressive, and these items are actually debilitating.”

TSN’s Rick Westhead reported, the submitting alleges Aldrich was watching pornography and carried out a sexual act in entrance of him with out his consent in Might of 2010.  Aldrich then despatched inappropriate textual content messages and threatened the participant “bodily, financially and emotionally” if he didn’t take part. An amended criticism from July 2021 goes into additional element relating to the incident and famous he tried to go away however Aldrich blocked his manner and threatened the participant with a memento baseball bat. 

In keeping with TSN, in Might 2010, two gamers additionally informed then-skills coach Paul Vincent of inappropriate habits by Aldrich who then requested Jim Gary, the group’s psychological expertise coach, to observe up. Per the lawsuit, John Doe 1 informed Gary what occurred.

“On or about Might 2010, plaintiff, John Doe, started seeing Gary for counseling companies after he was sexually assaulted by a group worker,” the assertion of declare says, per Westhead. “Previous to the sexual assault on John Doe, defendant was made conscious that the identical group worker had sexually assaulted a teammate of John Doe.”

Gary allegedly satisfied the previous participant “that the sexual assault was his fault, that he was culpable for what had occurred, [and had] made errors throughout his encounter with the perpetrator and permitted the sexual assault to happen.”

Per TSN, Vincent, a former police officer in Massachusetts, met with then-Blackhawks president John McDonough, vp of hockey operations Al MacIsaac, GM Stan Bowman and Gary earlier than the Western Convention ultimate in San Jose, Calif., to debate what he was informed. In keeping with Vincent, he requested them to contact Chicago regulation enforcement however they declined.

Who’s Brad Aldrich?

Aldrich was employed in July 2008 and served because the video coach with the Blackhawks through the group’s Stanley Cup season in 2010.

He left the group that summer time and went on to work and volunteer with USA Hockey, the College of Notre Dame, Miami College (OH) and Houghton Excessive Faculty. Aldrich was convicted in 2013 in Houghton, Mich. of fourth-degree felony sexual conduct involving a pupil. He was sentenced in 2014 to 9 months in jail and 5 years of probation.

The previous pupil, who performed on the highschool hockey group, is listed as John Doe 2 and is additionally suing the Blackhawks citing they supplied optimistic references for Aldrich.

Per The Associated Press, Miami College (OH) additionally opened an investigation in June. Aldrich was the director of hockey operations on the college however resigned in 2012 “below suspicion of undesirable touching of a male grownup.” In September, the varsity released its findings and concluded that he sexually assaulted two males within the fall of 2012.

What did the Blackhawks investigation reveal?

Over the course of a four-month-long investigation, 139 witnesses had been interviewed together with 21 present and former Blackhawks gamers and gamers from the AHL affiliate in Rockford, 14 members of the 2009-10 Blackhawks roster and 5 of the 9 “Black Aces” or follow gamers known as up through the 2010 playoffs, John Doe 1 and Brad Aldrich.

Who’s John Doe? 

Whereas his id is nameless, the investigation notes that John Doe 1 (named as John Doe additional) was a 20-year-old prospect who was known as up through the playoffs to function a “Black Ace.” A “Black Ace” is a participant introduced up through the postseason to follow with the group and be able to play within the case of an harm, suspension, or every other purpose that rostered participant can not play. 

When did the assault happen?

Per interviews with each John Doe and Aldrich, each concur {that a} sexual encounter did happen on both Might 8 or 9, 2010. The precise date is unknown however based mostly on timelines relating to the group’s journey plans across the playoffs, that is the date the investigation pinpointed. Aldrich claims the encounter was consensual whereas John Doe says it was “solely non-consensual.”

What occurred on the night time of the assault?

On the time, the Blackhawks had been taking part in the Canucks through the second spherical of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. Aldrich invited John Doe over telling him “he had the facility to get John Doe onto the Blackhawks’ roster” earlier than turning on pornography. John Doe said “that Aldrich threatened John Doe by telling John Doe he wanted to behave like he loved the sexual encounter or John Doe would by no means play within the NHL ‘or stroll’ once more” after which forcibly carried out sexual acts earlier than threatening him once more. Once more, it must be famous that Aldrich stated the encounter was consensual.

When had been the Blackhawks knowledgeable and what steps did they take?

Might 12-19, 2010

Whereas in San Jose through the Western Convention finals, John Doe tells Paul Vincent, the Blackhawks skating coach, what occurred. Vincent, nevertheless, recollects listening to rumors from Nick Boynton after which approached John Doe and one other participant, revealed to be Black Ace 1 talked about beneath.

Might 23, 2010

Al MacIsaac, senior director of hockey administration, is knowledgeable by an worker that “there might have been a sexual encounter involving Aldrich and John Doe.” MacIsaac tells Gary to talk with John Doe who supplied restricted particulars which included that Aldrich was pressuring the younger prospect to have intercourse with him or his profession could be harmed.

Someday between Might 12-19, John Doe informed a fellow “Black Ace” (Black Ace 1) that “Aldrich tried to the touch him.” When contacted for the investigation, he didn’t recall the dialog however did keep in mind John Doe talking with Gary about it.

Later within the day, the Blackhawks eradicated the Sharks from the playoffs in Sport 4 of the Western Convention finals. One hour after, a gathering occurred with the next senior managers:

  • President John McDonough
  • Senior director of hockey administration Al MacIsaac
  • Common Supervisor Stan Bowman
  • Government Vice President Jay Blunk
  • Assistant Common Supervisor Kevin Cheveldayoff
  • Head coach Joel Quenneville
  • Psychological expertise coach and group counselor Jim Gary

Per the report, all males recall being informed there was an incident. Gary remembers stating Aldrich was threatening John Doe’s profession however none recalled being informed the precise nature of what occurred. Others within the assembly recall Gary stating Aldrich tried to “get below the sheets” with John Doe.

From the report, it appeared there was extra concern for the on-ice product than what occurred off the ice:

Bowman recalled that through the assembly, McDonough and Quenneville made feedback in regards to the problem of attending to the Stanley Cup Finals and a want to deal with the group and the playoffs. A number of years later, MacIsaac, in discussing the state of affairs between Aldrich and John Doe with one other Blackhawks worker, said that McDonough didn’t need any damaging publicity through the Stanley Cup Finals. 

Bowman recalled that McDonough stated he would deal with issues; nevertheless, as famous there was no proof something was truly accomplished till after the playoffs. At 9:06 p.m., Gary and Bowman spoke by cellphone and Bowman knowledgeable him that they “will pursue this” and produce it to “an ending.”

It must be famous that the report didn’t discover Vincent’s statements above relating to contacting administration as correct. 

June 9, 2010

The Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup.

June 10, 2010

Aldrich made sexual advances in the direction of and bodily touches a 22-year-old intern because the group celebrated the championship.

June 14, 2010

McDonough informs human sources relating to the allegations of Aldrich and the Might 23 assembly. Per the report, the director of human sources famous: “McDonough stated it was determined that the group wouldn’t alert Human Assets or do something in regards to the incident through the playoffs in order to not disturb group chemistry.”

June 16, 2010

When assembly with the director of human sources, and upon listening to the allegations, Aldrich didn’t affirm nor deny what occurred. He’s given an choice to both endure an investigation or resign. He chooses to resign. He’s given a severance, playoff bonus, have his title engraved on the Cup, have a day with the Stanley Cup, was given a championship ring and was on the banner-raising ceremony. 

September 2013

The director of human sources is contacted by the Houghton Police Division throughout their investigation into Aldrich on suspicion of felony sexual assault. She recalled informing the police that he resigned however couldn’t present extra data with out a subpoena. 

2021

After the courtroom filings in Might 2021, the Blackhawks introduced internally in late June the hiring of a former federal prosecutor, Reid Schar, to guide an “unbiased investigation” into the allegations. Through the subsequent investigation, it is usually revealed that Aldrich despatched inappropriate textual content messages to Black Ace 1.

What are the outcomes of the investigation?

Per the investigation, and as famous above, the group waited three weeks between studying of the incident and taking any motion. That motion was Aldrich resigning. 

As said within the investigation:

Consequently, the Blackhawks’ personal sexual harassment coverage—which required investigation of all studies of sexual harassment to be carried out “promptly and completely”—was violated. The failure to promptly and completely examine the matter and the choice to take no motion from Might 23 to June 14 had penalties. Throughout that interval, Aldrich continued to work with and journey with the group.

Aldrich engaged in an undesirable sexual advance on a Blackhawks intern—bodily grabbing the intern in a sexual method. And Aldrich continued to take part in group actions and celebrations, within the presence of John Doe. Even after the allegations had been lastly reported to the Director of Human Assets, nonetheless no investigation occurred, and Aldrich was permitted to resign his place and to proceed collaborating in Stanley Cup victory occasions. 

The investigation didn’t reveal any suggestions supplied for future employment by the Blackhawks. Data from USA Hockey, Miami College and Houghton discovered no proof of references and Aldrich was employed at the highschool as a volunteer via the advice of a member of the family.

On Oct. 26, Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz introduced that Stan Bowman “stepped apart” because the group’s GM. Present vp of hockey technique and analytics Kyle Davidson will take over because the interim GM because the group searches for brand new hockey operations management. 

“We and he finally settle for that in his first 12 months as normal supervisor, he made a mistake alongside our different senior executives on the time and didn’t take ample motion in 2010,” Wirtz stated earlier than including that not one of the different executives concerned within the response can be with the group transferring ahead. Al MacIsaac and Bowman had been the one ones nonetheless with the group as of Oct. 26.

Joel Quenneville is at the moment the Panthers head coach and Kevin Cheveldayoff is the Jets normal supervisor. Quenneville denied over the summer time any data whereas the Jets launched a really particularly worded assertion: 

“I had no data of any allegations involving Mr. Aldrich till requested if I used to be conscious of something simply previous to the conclusion of his employment with the Chicago Blackhawks. After confirming that I had no prior data of something, I had no additional involvement,” the assertion stated.

In mild of the investigation, the NHL announced the Blackhawks have been fined $2 million “for the group’s insufficient inside procedures and inadequate and premature response within the dealing with of issues associated to former video coach Brad Aldrich’s employment with the Membership and supreme departure in 2010. Half of that may go in the direction of organizations in and round Chicago that present counseling and coaching for, and help and help to, survivors of sexual and different types of abuse.

Danny Wirtz, throughout his remarks, stated: “John Doe deserves higher from the Blackhawks and whereas we consider we have now a powerful authorized protection, I’ve instructed our attorneys to see if we are able to attain a good decision in keeping with the totality of the circumstances.”

Tuesday night time, USA Hockey also announced that Bowman has stepped apart because the group’s normal supervisor for the 2022 Olympics. 

What’s subsequent for Joel Quenneville, Kevin Cheveldayoff?

Chatting with Westhead, Seashore was adamant that Quenneville knew what occurred: 

“Now in statements that got here out within the launch, Stan Bowman has quoted Joel Quenneville saying — and this isn’t a quote, that is my phrases — saying that the playoffs, the Stanley Cup playoffs and making an attempt to win a Stanley Cup was extra necessary than sexual assault. And I can’t consider that. As a human being, I can not consider that, and I can not settle for that.

“I’ve witnessed conferences, proper after I reported it to James Gary, that had been held in Joel Quenneville’s workplace. There’s completely no manner that he can deny figuring out it and there’s completely no manner that Stan Bowman would make up a quote like that, to any individual who served his group and his group so effectively.”

Quenneville was allowed to teach the Panthers on Wednesday night time in opposition to the Bruins. He’s scheduled to satisfy with Bettman in New York on Thursday. Cheveldayoff is anticipated to satisfy with the commissioner on Monday.

“The NHL is inclusive, The NHL consists of everyone, they usually let me down they usually’ve let down others as effectively,” Seashore stated. “However they proceed to try to defend their title over the well being and the well-being of the individuals who put their lives on the road every single day to make the NHL what it’s. I hope via and thru that Gary Bettman takes this severely and that he does his due diligence, that he talks to not solely them, however Stan Bowman, John McDonough, and anyone else that has data to supply earlier than he makes his choice. As a result of they already let me down, they wouldn’t examine for me, so why would they now?”

For the complete report, launched publicly by the Blackhawks, click here.



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