Ex-Blackhawks coach allegedly threatened player with baseball bat before sexual assault
Two new amended versions of the lawsuit filed against the Chicago Blackhawks have provided more disturbing details surrounding the alleged May 2010 sexual assault committed by former video coach Bradley Aldrich.
The first of the two suits filed on Thursday — and obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times — provide a new detail that a former Chicago player identified as “John Doe 1” was forced by Aldrich to have nonconsensual sex with the former coach.
Aldrich allegedly invited the player to his apartment to go over game footage. When John Doe 1 arrived, Aldrich exposed himself, turned on pornography, and allegedly began masturbating in front of the former player.
When the player attempted to leave Aldrich’s apartment, the coach blocked the only exit, grabbed a souvenir Chicago Cubs baseball bat from the wall, and allegedly physically intimidated the player with it. Aldrich then verbally assaulted the player, threatening him with the bat and stating that he would ruin his career and he would never play in the NHL again if he did not engage in nonconsensual sexual activity with Aldrich at that time, according to the lawsuit.
The amended lawsuit also alleges that Aldrich would repeatedly invite young interns that were working for the Blackhawks over to his apartment. Employees of the team were reportedly aware of this, and found it unusual.
In the same lawsuit, the player also details that, after reporting the assault to upper management, he was repeatedly targeted with homophobic slurs from teammates in the Hawks’ locker room and during practices while under watch of Chicago coaches — more or less confirming knowledge of the sexual assault throughout the team.
Former coach James Gary convinced the player that the assaults were his fault, according to the lawsuit, even while Aldrich was still sending harassing texts to the player and inviting him to come over to his apartment. Other former coach Paul Vincent allegedly told a group of team executives about the incident in May of 2010, who then allegedly refused to notify police. The team then claimed in a motion to dismiss the lawsuits, that they were under no obligation to notify authorities because the player was not a minor, not disabled, or not in a care facility.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman was part of that group then and he spoke publicly about the lawsuit for the first time earlier this week.
"I do not condone or tolerate harassment or assault of any type,” the Chicago GM said. “The Blackhawks have engaged an outside legal firm to conduct an investigation...for now, I have to respect the litigation and pending review. I'm not going to be able to make any comments about that.
"There's a lot going on, but I have a job to do here — to build the best team I can — and that's what I'm focused on."
Other executives around the league that were in the Blackhawks front office — Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville, Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin, and Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff — deny any awareness of the alleged assault, but said that they will participate in the investigation.
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