Lawyer in negligence lawsuit against the Chicago Blackhawks says teammates ‘bullied’ the player after learning of his sexual assault allegations against Bradley Aldrich

Lawyer in negligence lawsuit against the Chicago Blackhawks says teammates ‘bullied’ the player after learning of his sexual assault allegations against Bradley Aldrich
·4 min read

The attorney handling two negligence lawsuits against the Chicago Blackhawks told the Tribune that one of her clients, a Hawks player in 2010, was bullied by teammates after he accused then-video coach Bradley Aldrich of sexually assaulting him.

The latest allegation comes as part of an amendment to John Doe 1’s lawsuit that attorney Susan E. Loggans filed Thursday afternoon with Cook County Circuit Court as a response to the Hawks’ motion to dismiss the case.

“It occurred on the ice where some fellow players bullied him because they heard that Aldrich made advances at him and they heard about what happened and made inappropriate bullying comments to him of a sexual nature,” Loggans said. “That’s all I can say about that because I don’t want to be harmful to John Doe 1.”

The amendment laid out in greater detail what allegedly happened between the Hawks player and Aldrich during an overnight stay at Aldrich’s apartment around May 2010.

According to the document, in late April or early May Aldrich sent “harassing text messages” to the player “promising (John Doe 1) coaching advice” and the invitation to “go over game clips” if he came to Aldrich’s apartment for dinner.

When the player went to the apartment, Aldrich allegedly “turned on pornography and began to masturbate” in front of him, the amendment states.

“Plaintiff, John Doe, attempted to leave Aldrich’s apartment, but Aldrich blocked the only exit from the apartment, grabbed a souvenir Cubs bat from his wall and physically threatened the plaintiff with the small bat,” according to the amendment.

Aldrich allegedly was “brandishing the bat” and “verbally threatened Plaintiff by stating that Aldrich would ruin Plaintiff financially and destroy Plaintiff’s career if Plaintiff did not engage in nonconsensual activity” with Aldrich.

The allegations against Aldrich in the amendment include “masturbating in front of Plaintiff, forcibly touching Plaintiff, and other lewd and lascivious conduct, until Aldrich ejaculated on Plaintiff while Plaintiff was paralyzed with fear.”

The amended complaint goes on to allege that Aldrich sent “harassing texts” to John Doe 1 after the encounter, “asking Plaintiff to come over to his apartment.”

Stan Bowman, Hawks president of hockey operations and general manager, said earlier Thursday that he would cooperate with an internal investigation conducted by Jenner and Block, the legal team the Hawks hired last month. But Bowman declined to comment on the specifics of the review or the events of 2010, citing the pending lawsuits.

Loggans filed a similar amendment in the John Doe 2 lawsuit that was brought by a former Houghton (Mich.) High School hockey player whom Aldrich was convicted of sexually assaulting in March 2013.

The Hawks filed a motion to dismiss that case as well.

At issue is whether the Hawks were obligated to alert Chicago police or anyone else after team executives learned of the allegations at a meeting that then-skills coach Paul Vincent said occurred in May 2010 in San Jose, Calif., where the Hawks clinched the Western Conference finals against the Sharks.

The Hawks went on to win the Stanley Cup the next month, the first championship of three in a six-year period.

In the John Doe 1 case, the team’s attorneys argue that the former player didn’t exhaust the legal remedies available through the Illinois Human Rights Act or Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act as mandated by state law and that the suit wasn’t filed before the statute of limitations ran out.

In the John Doe 2 case, the team’s attorneys argue the Hawks didn’t legally “owe a duty” to warn potential future employers of Aldrich, such as Houghton High School or Miami University in Ohio, where he was accused of assaulting “a non-student adult” and a student in separate off-campus incidents in 2012, the university confirmed through public records requests. Neither person pursued charges.

The Houghton High School player was assaulted by Aldrich the next year.

Loggans contends that had the team acted on the initial complaints by two Hawks players — that Aldrich allegedly assaulted them during an overnight stay at his apartment in May 2010 — then the events at Miami and Houghton might not have occurred, and thus the Hawks should be held financially liable.

“One of their top management coaches thought they should call the police and the organization refused to do that,” Loggans told the Tribune. “Had they done that, two things would’ve happened: First of all, John Doe 1 wouldn’t have been harassed on the ice in the future, as he was — he was bullied as a result of the common knowledge about what happened with Aldrich.

“And No. 2, John Doe 2 would never have been molested. Had there been a police investigation like Paul Vincent wanted, then all of these downstream places would’ve been on notice about what happened. … So their failure to call for a police investigation set the snowball rolling down the hill that caused all the rest of this to occur.”

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