Chicago Blackhawks sued by a second player for ignoring claims of sexual abuse by former video coach Brad Aldrich… nearly two years after Kyle Beach came forward as a victim
Lawyers for a former player who is suing the Chicago Blackhawks for allegedly ignoring his complaints that a team employee sexually assaulted him during the 2009-2010 Stanley Cup championship season said Monday that their client was inspired to come forward by another player from that team who had sued the organization. – Kyle Beach.
“Certainly, having someone like Kyle Beach, who was a well-known player, someone who was very well-known, to come forward — that gave him the courage,” attorney Antonio Romanucci said of his client, who is identified in court documents as John Doe.
‘People say, ‘Oh, this is a money grab,’ but it’s not. I mean, at the end of the day, hopefully there will be some financial compensation for him.
‘But there is no doubt that people who have been sexually abused in these situations need time to come forward.
“And when they see other people coming forward, it gives them a path to follow.”
A second former Chicago Blackhawks player is suing the team after reporting sexual abuse claims against former video coach Brad Aldrich but being ignored by the team
The lawsuit filed last week in Cook County Circuit Court accuses the team of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other things. More than $300,000 is being sought.
The plaintiff was part of the “Black Aces” squad, which consisted of minor league players who traveled with the NHL team during the playoffs to fill in in case of injuries.
One of those players was Beach, who reached a settlement with the Blackhawks in December 2021 after claiming he was sexually assaulted by then-video coach Brad Aldrich.
The new lawsuit makes similar allegations against Aldrich, stating that the Blackhawks have shown “utter indifference and/or conscious disregard for the safety of their employees, including John Doe.”
The accuser, who currently plays overseas, was 19 to 20 years old when the alleged abuse occurred and was out of the organization within a year, Friedl said.
The Blackhawks said in a statement that the organization takes allegations of workplace misconduct seriously, noting that the organization launched an independent investigation into the 2010 events two years ago.
“We have changed as a result of what happened and have made numerous positive improvements across our organization to ensure the safety and well-being of our players and employees,” the team said.
“This includes completely rebuilding the leadership team with staff who demonstrate our values and bring the right subject matter expertise in the critical areas of compliance and human resources, a comprehensive mental health program and new reporting mechanisms and training for all employees.”
This is the second person to make such allegations; the other is Kyle Beach
Beach revealed that he was sexually assaulted by Aldrich during the 2010 season
The NHL fined the Blackhawks $2 million after the investigation was completed and executives left the team.
The lawsuit says Aldrich invited Black Aces players to his home under the guise of discussing hockey strategy, but later tried to get players to watch pornographic films with him.
Aldrich is accused of offering oral sex to John Doe and approaching him from behind and pushing his penis into his back and buttocks through his clothing.
It says Aldrich once surprised Doe while the player was having sex with a woman by rubbing his feet in an apparent attempt to participate in the encounter, and offered to pay for him to receive “sexual favors” if Aldrich could to look.
Aldrich is also accused of texting the players pictures of his penis and threatening John Doe’s career if he reports his behavior to the organization.
Aldrich is now accused by John Doe of making sexual contact without consent and making unwanted sexual advances during their time as co-workers.
In June 2010, after the team won the Cup, Aldrich was given the option to resign or participate in an investigation, according to the investigation report. Aldrich signed a separation agreement and no investigation was conducted.
“It is the organization that failed to act on its own policies when these reports came in,” Friedl said.
Romanucci said Beach will likely be a witness in the case “in some way, shape and form.”
Asked whether more players may have been abused, Friedl said, “My client has made no comment about any other individuals, other than his respect for Mr. Beach.”
He rejected the idea that waiting more than a decade to file a lawsuit would undermine the player’s claims.
Following an investigation, the NHL fined the Blackhawks $2 million after Beach came forward
“I think this is a story that some people will try to sell,” Friedl said. “I think this is a story of revictimization of individuals who survive any form of abuse. We see it again and again.
“The arguments that are being made, that are being thrown in the faces of these individuals – what are you going to gain from it, why did it take so long.
‘And at first glance these are good questions. But again, they contribute to this narrative in society of re-blaming or victim blaming.”
Aldrich pleaded guilty in December 2013 to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in a case involving a 16-year-old high school hockey player in Michigan. Prosecutors dropped the crime count. Aldrich was released from prison in 2014.