Back on Sept. 13th, the Chicago Blackhawks motion to ask a judge to dismiss a pair of negligence lawsuits filed against the team. The lawsuits relate to Brad Aldrich, a former video coach who allegedly sexually assaulted a Blackhawks player in 2010 and who was convicted in 2013 of sexually abusing a then-16-year-old high school hockey player in Houghton.
This story has been discussed over and over this summer.The allegations came to light earlier this offseason after a former player filed a lawsuit in Chicago against the franchise. That unnamed player alleges that he reported the abuse to the team and that he was essentially ignored. The player alleges that then team video coach Brad Aldrich had allegedly sexually assaulted him and then threatened him via text messages and other communications against making a complaint.
A second former player alleges that he was also sexual assaulted by Aldrich and he also accuses the Blackhawks of covering up the abuse of two players and then granting Aldrich a letter of reference when he left the team quietly in the summer of 2010. That letter gave him the opportunity to go on and find other victims, the lawsuit alleges. Aldrich would go on to be convicted of abusing a 17 year old hockey player in 2013 after resigning from his position as director of hockey operations at Miami University on Nov. 27, 2012, “under suspicion of unwanted touching of a male adult."
In their most recent filing, the Blackhawks had argued that the lawsuit brought by John Doe 2 was “unrelated” to the team. But the plaintiff’s latest filing on Thursday pointed to Aldrich’s Cup day as the ultimate letter of reference.
“In other words, the Blackhawks ‘sent’ Mr. Aldrich to Houghton with the most positive reference available — the Stanley Cup engraved with his name,” the filing said. “They did this at a time when they knew of Aldrich’s sexual exploitation of its players.”
This is why the lawyer is asking that the court denies the Blackhawks' request to dismiss the lawsuits.
“Plaintiff reported the assault, and the team psychologist minimized the assault and blamed plaintiff for it,” the filing said. “The assaulter, Mr. Aldrich, threatened to ruin plaintiff’s hockey career if he did not keep quiet about the assault. Plaintiff spent the next nine years ignoring and suppressing memories of the assault until he learned that Mr. Aldrich was convicted of molesting a 16-year-old boy. It was only at this time that plaintiff reflected on his own victimization and how it had affected his life.”
The filing went on to say, “These facts create a question of fact as to when plaintiff was injured.”
This says it all! The Hawks are in trouble no doubt. Something will happen.