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‘John Doe’ in NHL Blackhawks sexual abuse scandal comes forward, identifies as Kyle Beach, a former minor league


This story first appeared on CBS Chicago website.

The “John Doe” who accused former Chicago Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich of sexual abuse in 2010 identified himself on Wednesday as former Blackhawks minor league player Kyle Beach.

Beach spoke to Rick Westhead on TSN SportsCentre Canada.

Tuesday, the president of hockey operations and general manager of the Blackhawks Stan Bowman announced that he had “stepped aside” after an independent investigation determined that he and other team leaders failed to promptly investigate the former player’s allegations that he was sexually assaulted by a video coach in 2010.

“He and we ultimately accept that in his first year as CEO he made a mistake, alongside our other senior executives at the time, and failed to take adequate action in 2010,” Team CEO Danny Wirtz announced Tuesday afternoon.

Bowman has also resigned as general manager of the 2022 US Olympic ice hockey team. Senior Vice President Al MacIsaac is also on the lookout for the Blackhawks’ handling of the scandal.

Beach said he had “a great sense of relief and it was no longer my word against everyone.”

Beach now plays in Erfurt, Germany for a team called the Black Dragons. He was a first-round pick for the Blackhawks in 2008.

He told TSN that in 2010 he had just finished his junior season with the Spokane Chiefs and was called up by the AHL Rockford Ice Hogs. That team in turn lost the first round of the playoffs, and Beach said he and several others were called up by the Blackhawks as practice players.

“I think every time you get that phone call you come up – whether it’s to play or to be a training player. But to be a part of that for the first time besides a training camp, that is. ‘was an extremely special time for me and for my family and the next step for me to pursue my NHL dream that I have dreamed of and worked for all my life, “Beach told TSN.” So unfortunately a few weeks later those memories were marred and my life changed forever. “

Beach was 20 at the time and said he was “scared” and “fearful” of the alleged abuse.

“I would never dream, or you could never imagine being put in this situation by someone who is supposed to be there to help you and make you a better hockey player and a better person and continue to build your career,” he told TSN. “Just scared and alone with no idea what to do.”

Beach told TSN the first person he told was then Blackhawks skills coach Paul Vincent as he traveled with the team. Beach credited Vincent with trying to do all he could when the abuse allegations first surfaced.

Beach also told his family soon after, he told TSN.

“My mother cried for days,” he said. “She felt responsible, like she should have protected me and there was nothing I could do.”

Meanwhile, Aldrich secured a front row seat in the party when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010. He was able to bring the cup back to his hometown, received a playoff bonus and attended the ceremony. raising the banner at the United Center.

But according to the four-month in-depth investigation by an independent law firm, the Blackhawks leadership was already well aware of the sexual assault allegations made by the man now identified as Beach.

“It’s clear that in 2010, the leadership of this organization put team performance first,” said Wirtz, CEO of the Blackhawks. “John Doe deserves better from the Blackhawks.

Former federal prosecutor Reid Schar, who led the independent investigation after Beach sued the Blackhawks in May, said the investigation determined the former player and Aldrich agreed they had had sex in May 2010, but while Beach insisted it was totally non-consensual. Aldrich maintains that it was entirely consensual.

Schar said Bowman and other senior executives did not promptly conduct a full investigation, adding that several Blackhawks executives and coaches held a meeting within an hour of the Western Conference title to s’ secure a spot in the Stanley Cup final to discuss the allegations against Aldrich. , but no action was taken for three weeks.

Aldrich then pleaded guilty in 2013 to criminal sexual conduct with a former Michigan high school hockey player who also sued the Blackhawks for negligence.

TSN asked Beach about this subsequent allegation, and Beach was in tears when he brought it up.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t do more, when I could, to make sure that didn’t happen to him. To protect him,” Beach said of the Michigan victim. “But I also wanted to say thank you to him. Because when I decided, after a teammate told me about it while I was playing abroad, I decided to google Brad Aldrich’s name and that’s when I discovered the Michigan individual, the Michigan team. And because of what happened to him, it gave me the power and the sense of urgency to ‘take action, make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. “

Beach said he thinks “the step the Blackhawks took yesterday is a big step in the right direction. They have accepted the responsibility and they have taken the necessary action, albeit too late.”

Among the officers and coaches present at the June 2010 meeting, former assistant general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and former head coach Joel Quenneville are the only ones currently employed by the NHL – Cheveldayoff as general manager of the Winnipeg and Quenneville Jets as Florida Panthers head coach – and the league plans to meet with them about the investigation findings.

Beach blamed the NHL as a whole for letting him down.

“The NHL is inclusive; the NHL includes everyone. And they let me down and they let others down too. But they continue to try to protect their name on the health and well-being of the people who put their lives on the line every day to make the NHL what it is, ”he said.

The Blackhawks released a statement Wednesday night after Beach identified himself:

“First of all, we would like to recognize and congratulate Kyle Beach for the courage to come forward. As an organization, the Chicago Blackhawks reiterate our sincere apologies to him for what he has been through and for the failure of it. The organization responded quickly when it bravely brought this matter to light in 2010. It was inexcusable for the leadership of the Blackhawks organization to delay action on the reported sexual misconduct. t is more important than protecting our players and staff from predatory behavior.

The Blackhawks have implemented many changes and improvements within the organization, including the hiring of a new management team that is committed to winning championships while upholding the highest ethical, professional and athletic standards. high. “

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