The two amended lawsuits were both filed by former hockey players who say Blackhawks video coach Bradley Aldrich sexually assaulted them.
A set of amended lawsuits filed against the Chicago Blackhawks sheds new light on a player’s accusation of sexual assault against team video coach Bradley Aldrich.
According to The Chicago Sun-Times, the lawsuit was filed by a former Blackhawks player who claims that Aldrich coerced him into having nonconsensual sex. That specification, adds the Sun-Times, was previously unclear.
In his complaint, the pseudonymous player—identified only as John Doe 1—says he was invited to Aldrich’s apartment “under the pretense that Aldrich would go over game clips” with him.
But once Doe 1 arrived, Aldrich allegedly turned on pornography and began masturbating.
When Doe 1 tried to leave, Aldrich “blocked the only exit” and “physically threatened” the athlete with a souvenir Cubs baseball bat, telling him that he would “never play in the NHL […] if [he] did not engage in nonconsensual sexual activity with Aldrich at that time.”
Doe 1, says the lawsuit, was “paralyzed with fear.”
Encouraged, Aldrich “exposed himself,” “forcibly touched” the plaintiff, performed other “lewd and lascivious” acts, and then “ejaculated on” him.
When Aldrich tried to report the assault, a Chicago Blackhawks skills coach told him that he—the athlete—was responsible.
Another skills coach reported the incident to team management, but the Blackhawks’ executive group refused to report it to law enforcement.
Doe 1’s attorney, Susan E. Loggans, told The Chicago Tribune that her client faced further harassment from his teammates, who learned of the alleged assault.
“It occurred on the ice where some fellow players bullied him because they heard that Aldrich made advances at him and they heard about what happened and made inappropriate bullying comments to him of a sexual nature,” Loggans said.
The player was constantly “subjected to humiliating trash talking by his teammates during scrimmages where coaches were present,” “repeatedly” called gay slurs, and victimized with “other similar harassing statements.”
Doe 1, adds the Tribune, is seeking up to $250,000 in damages against the Blackhawks.
However, if the case moves to trial, the actual award issued by a jury could be far larger.
The Tribune notes that the second lawsuit—filed on behalf of John Doe 2, who claims to have been sexually assaulted by Aldrich when he was a high school hockey player—was also amended. Loggans says that the Blackhawks had received complaints from other athletes who claim to have been harassed, raped, or otherwise assaulted by Aldrich, but never took any action against the video coach.
Loggans says that the Blackhawks were obliged to act—and if they had, then neither of her clients would have been victimized.
“One of their top management coaches thought they should call the police and the organization refused to do that,” Loggans told The Chicago Tribune. “Had they done that, two things would’ve happened: First of all, John Doe 1 wouldn’t have been harassed on the ice in the future, as he was—he was bullied as a result of the common knowledge about what happened with Aldrich.
“And No. 2, John Doe 2 would never have been molested. Had there been a police investigation like Paul Vincent wanted, then all of these downstream places would’ve been on notice about what happened. […] So their failure to call for a police investigation set the snowball rolling down the hill that caused all the rest of this to occur.”
Aldrich, says The Chicago Sun-Times, left the Blackhawks after the 2010 Stanley Cup championship parade. He then briefly worked as an assistant coach with Miami-Ohio University, where two further allegations of sexual impropriety surfaced.