An unidentified former Chicago Blackhawks player just blew the doors wide open on the franchise after he said in a lawsuit against the team that a then-assistant coach sexually assaulted him in 2010 during a playoff run to a Stanley Cup title. He also accused the team of doing nothing after he informed a now-retired employee.
After leaving the Blackhawks, former assistant coach Bradley Aldrich was convicted in 2013 of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a student and is now on that state’s registry of sex offenders.
“The allegations against the Blackhawks went public in May after a former player filed a lawsuit in Chicago against the franchise. That unnamed player, identified as “John Doe (1)” in court documents, alleges that he reported the abuse to the team and that it was covered up. The player also alleges that Aldrich threatened him via text messages and other communications against making a complaint.
A second lawsuit filed in May by a former Michigan high school hockey player, identified in court documents as “John Doe (2)” alleges the Blackhawks covered up the abuse of two players and gave Aldrich a letter of reference when he left the team in the summer of 2010. That letter gave him the opportunity to go on and find other victims, the lawsuit alleges.
Aldrich was convicted of abusing a then-17-year-old hockey player in Houghton, Mich., in 2013. A year earlier, Aldrich resigned from his position as director of hockey operations at Miami University on Nov. 27, 2012, “under suspicion of unwanted touching of a male adult,” the university’s attorney told police, according to police records obtained by TSN.”
The lawsuit, filed on May 7 in Cook County Circuit Court, says Aldrich also assaulted another unidentified Blackhawks player. The former player who sued and is seeking more than $150,000 in damages is referred in the document as “John Doe.”
“This entire man’s life has been destroyed,” the former player’s attorney Susan Loggans told WBEZ. “These professional athletes have to function at the top of their game at all times in order to be competitive, and these things are really debilitating.”
The eight-page suit says Aldrich, then a video coach for the Blackhawks, “turned on porn and began to masturbate in front of” the player without his consent. It says Aldrich also threatened to “physically, financially and emotionally” hurt the player if he “did not engage in sexual activity” with him.
Then-mental skills coach, James F. Gary, who has since retired, told WBEZ he didn’t know “anything about this.”
Loggans also represents the student, referred to a “John Doe 2” in the lawsuit. She confirmed to WBEZ that he was the student Aldrich was convicted of assaulting.
“Had the Blackhawks accurately reported what had occurred with John Doe 1, then Aldrich would never have been allowed to be in a position where he could molest other people,” Loggans said.
“Everything that I have read in the WBEZ report is 100% accurate,” Loggans told The Associated Press on Thursday.