New details emerge in sexual assault suit against former Blackhawks coach

·2 min read

An amended sexual assault lawsuit against former Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Brad Aldrich contains new allegations that Aldrich threatened a former player with a souvenir baseball bat before forcing nonconsensual sex, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Why it matters: Aldrich, who worked as an assistant high school hockey coach after leaving the Blackhawks, was convicted on criminal sexual conduct charges involving a student in 2013, per AP. The unnamed player sued the team earlier this year, alleging a pattern of inaction that enabled Aldrich to continue his behavior for years and later abuse the student.

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Details: The amended suit alleges that Aldrich "repeatedly invited young [Blackhawks] interns" to his private apartment, and that team employees "were aware of this behavior and found it to be quite unusual."

  • In May 2010, the former player — named in the suit as John Doe — was at Aldrich's place for coaching advice when Aldrich turned on pornography and began to masturbate in front of him, the lawsuit alleges.

  • Brandishing a bat and blocking the only exit from the apartment, Aldrich allegedly threatened the player with financial ruin and a destroyed career if he did not give into Aldrich's demands of nonconsensual sex.

  • The former player, who is seeking more than $150,000 in damages, also accuses Aldrich of assaulting another unidentified Blackhawks player.

Two Blackhawks players reported Aldrich's misconduct to then-skills coach Paul Vincent in May 2010, according to TSN.

  • Leadership allegedly took no action.

  • Meanwhile, other Blackhawks players used homophobic language to repeatedly harass the victim while coaches were present, per the lawsuit.

Worth noting: The former student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting filed a separate lawsuit against the Blackhawks in May, claiming the team gave Houghton High School a "positive review and/or employment verification" of Aldrich despite allegations from at least one player.

  • The student was a hockey player at Houghton when Aldrich sexually assaulted him in 2013.

What they're saying: "Had the Blackhawks accurately reported what had occurred with John Doe 1, then Aldrich would never have been allowed to be in a position where he could molest other people," Susan Loggans, who represents both plaintiffs, told AP.

  • An attorney for Aldrich told WBEZ that his client denies the allegations.

  • "The reaction whenever you hear allegations like that are concerning. But my first reaction is, 'Tell me the facts,'" NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman later said in an interview with WBEZ.

  • The Blackhawks said in a statement to the radio station that the allegations against the team "lack merit." Its media office did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

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