BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Sabres forward Evander Kane will not face criminal charges following an investigation into a possible sexual assault after prosecutors said Friday there was no evidence to support the allegation.
Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty announced his decision after examining the facts, including forensic and toxicological test results, and closing a two-month investigation.
"No charge will be filed because there is no evidence to support the filing of a criminal filing of a criminal action," Flaherty said during a news conference. He added that no criminal complaint was ever filed.
Kane's lawyer, Paul Cambria, told The Associated Press that he was not surprised by Flaherty's decision.
"We were confident all along that there was basis to claim that Evander had done anything wrong," Cambria said. "And we're glad that he's been cleared. And now it's time for him to move forward and put this behind him."
The alleged incident occurred in the early hours of Dec. 27 at a downtown hotel, where Kane is living, and after he and the Sabres returned to Buffalo following a 6-3 win at Boston.
A person familiar with the investigation told the AP that the investigation was prompted after a woman went to a hospital to be treated for an injury, and said she had difficulty remembering what happened. The woman's comments prompted officials to follow hospital protocol and notify police, who then launched an investigation, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because prosecutors have not revealed the details.
Without going into detail, Flaherty would only say: "Protocols were followed and those protocols included alerting the police."
Police searched Kane's room and had his vehicle towed and searched, which was described as standard practice in such cases.
Kane is tied for second among Sabres with 19 goals and fourth with 31 points in 58 games this season, his first in Buffalo and seventh in the NHL. The Sabres acquired the 24-year-old in a multi-player trade with Winnipeg in February 2015.
Kane was the second NHL player to be investigated for a sex offense by police in the Buffalo area this year. In November, prosecutors cited a lack of credible evidence after reviewing an allegation against Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, who was accused of assaulting a woman at his offseason home outside Buffalo in August.
On Wednesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman ruled the allegations against Patrick Kane to be "unfounded," in announcing the player won't be disciplined by the league.
Associated Press Writer Carolyn Thompson contributed to this report.