Such an attack could deter other women from coming forward to report sex crimes, legal experts and rape victim advocates said.
They believe Sedita, elected Tuesday as a New York state trial judge, released detailed findings to deflect criticism of his decision and blunt suggestions that Kane got special treatment because of his celebrity status."It's an exceptional press release," said Florina Altshiler, a former sex crime prosecutor now in private practice in Buffalo.
Unlike the NFL, the National Hockey League does not have a formal personal conduct policy or one addressing domestic violence.
In late September, the investigation appeared to be faltering, as Sedita called a news conference to announce that the brown paper bag had been an "elaborate hoax" by the accuser's mother and that evidence was never compromised.
The accuser's attorney, Thomas Eoannou, who initially told reporters the bag was left anonymously at the home of the woman's mother, quit the case, saying he no longer believed the mother's story.
As he closed the rape investigation into Patrick Kane on Thursday, a Buffalo-area prosecutor offered an unusually withering assessment of the accusation against the Blackhawks star.
Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III described a 21-year-old college student's sexual assault claim against Kane as "rife with reasonable doubt" and said Kane never behaved like a guilty man.
On Thursday, Sedita said there were "significant material inconsistencies" between the woman's claims and those of other witnesses, although he did not detail those discrepancies.