Sexual assault allegations: Blackhawks allegedly ordered independent investigation

According to the site The Athletic, the Chicago Blackhawks have commissioned an independent investigation into sexual assault allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich.

Journalist Mark Lazerus, of the website The Athletic, citing an internal memo from Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz, reports that the team hired former federal prosecutor Reid Schar of law firm Jenner & Block LLP to investigate the allegations.

A former Blackhawks player, who is not identified in court documents and referred to as “John Doe (1)”, is at the center of a legal battle over how the NHL club has responded to multiple incidents of alleged abuse during the 2009-2010 season. The former player says Aldrich, then the team’s video coach, assaulted him and another player. The player also says the Blackhawks covered up the allegations instead of passing them on to the police.

The Blackhawks had previously said the former player’s complaint was investigated and found to be without merit.

Another lawsuit brought against the team by a former high school hockey player known as “John Doe (2)” alleges the Blackhawks covered up Aldrich’s abuse of their players and handed him a letter reference. Aldrich then reportedly left the NHL team and worked with a high school team, where he was convicted of sexually abusing “John Doe (2)”.