Warning: Article contains details about sexual assault
A second Chicago Blackhawks player and former teammate of Kyle Beach has filed a negligence lawsuit against the team regarding an alleged sexual assault during the 2009-10 season by then-video coach Brad Aldrich, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Thompson.
The lawsuit, filed by law firm Romanucci & Blandin, claims Aldrich “groomed, harassed, threatened, and assaulted” the player, listed as “John Doe,” and that the Blackhawks covered up his complaint during their pursuit of the 2010 Stanley Cup championship.
Like Beach, Doe was a Black Ace – a player from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs who practiced with the Blackhawks during the playoffs – at the time. In May 2021, Beach sued the organization, saying Aldrich sexually assaulted him and a teammate in 2010. Beach and the Blackhawks reached a confidential settlement in December 2021.
Law firm Jenner & Block investigated the Blackhawks’ mishandling of Beach’s allegations in October 2021. Their report mentioned a player by the name of “Black Ace 1,” and Romanucci & Blandin confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that Doe is Black Ace 1.
The Blackhawks issued a statement about the new lawsuit, via the Tribune:
The Chicago Blackhawks take allegations of workplace misconduct and organizational response very seriously, and it’s why, over two years ago, we commissioned an extensive independent investigation into the troubling events that occurred in 2010. We’ve changed as a result of what happened and implemented numerous positive improvements throughout our organization to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our players and employees.
Until we learn more about this pending litigation, we will refrain from commenting with any additional specifics.
In the Jenner & Block report, Black Ace 1 said in an interview that Aldrich said he “could bury” players in the Blackhawks organization and make sure they “could never play” by saying “not nice things” about them.
In the Romanucci & Blandin lawsuit, Doe says Aldrich’s “behavior became overtly and aggressively sexual” towards him, and that Aldrich sent Doe harassing text messages and offered to pay Doe to receive sexual favors from a masseuse while Aldrich watched, per the Tribune.
The lawsuit also alleges that Aldrich approached Doe on several occasions from behind and “ground his penis against Doe’s back and buttocks through his clothes.”
Romanucci & Blandin will hold a press conference Monday at 11 a.m. ET to further address the lawsuit.
In the wake of the Jenner & Block findings, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman stepped down, while vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac left the organization. Additionally, Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville resigned. All three held positions with the Blackhawks in 2010.
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