Blackhawks to hold briefing on sexual assault investigation

The Chicago Blackhawks are holding a briefing Tuesday to discuss the findings of an investigation into allegations that an assistant coach sexually assaulted a player in 2010.

Team owner Rocky Wirtz, CEO Danny Wirtz and former federal prosecutor Reid Schar, who ran the investigation, are scheduled to speak. The Blachhawks’ news release about the briefing made no mention of president of hockey operations and general manager Stan Bowman, who TSN reported was involved in a meeting 11 years ago that informed team officials of the assault.

The Blackhawks pledged to release the findings of the investigation, which Bowman, former Chicago coach Joel Quenneville and others who were in the organization at the time agreed to cooperate with.

Two lawsuits were filed against the Blackhawks: one alleging sexual assault by assistant coach Bradley Aldrich during the team’s Stanley Cup run in 2010 and another filed by a former student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting in Michigan. Aldrich left the Blackhawks after the 2009-10 season.

A former player said Aldrich assaulted him, and that the team did nothing after he informed an employee. The lawsuit, filed May 7 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges Aldrich also assaulted another unidentified Blackhawks player. The former player who sued and is seeking more than $150,000 in damages is referred in the document as “John Doe.”

The eight-page lawsuit says Aldrich, then a video coach for the Blackhawks, “turned on porn and began to masturbate in front of” the player without his consent. It says Aldrich also threatened to “physically, financially and emotionally” hurt the player if he “did not engage in sexual activity” with him.

According to TSN, two Blackhawks players told then-skills coach Paul Vincent in May 2010 of inappropriate behavior by Aldrich. Vincent said he asked mental skills coach James Gary to follow up with the players and management.

Vincent was called into a meeting with Bowman, then-team President John McDonough, hockey executive Al MacIsaac and Gary the next day, TSN reported, and said he asked the team to report the allegations to Chicago police, a request that was denied.

In addition to running Chicago’s hockey operations department, Bowman is USA Hockey’s men’s GM for the Beijing Olympics. It was not immediately clear if USA Hockey had any plans to address Bowman’s status pending the findings of the investigation.


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