Chicago Blackhawks lawsuit: Ex-'Black Aces' player alleges 2010 sexual assault by former video coach

'John Doe' is a former teammate of Kyle Beach, who has also accused Brad Aldrich of assault, lawsuit says

ByCate Cauguiran and Rob Hughes and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, November 5, 2023
Ex-player sues Blackhawks, alleges 2010 sexual assault by former coach
In a Chicago Blackhawks lawsuit, an ex-player alleges sexual assault by Brad Aldrich, the former video coach who Kyle Beach also accused of abuse.

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The Chicago Blackhawks organization is being sued for alleged sexual abuse and harassment of a former player during its 2009-2010 Stanley Cup season.

Local firm Romanucci & Blandin filed the civil suit in Cook County on Thursday.

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The complaint alleges that former video coach Brad Aldrich "groomed, harassed, threatened and assaulted" the then-player, who was a member of the Blackhawks' so-called "Black Aces," or players from their minor-league team who practiced with the squad. The ex-player was not named, and was referred to only as "John Doe" in the lawsuit.

The suit also says the Blackhawks covered up the player's complaint and put "Stanley Cup Championship aspirations ahead of the welfare of its players."

Attorneys representing the anonymous player are expected to hold a news conference on Monday, where more details about the allegations could be made public.

The Blackhawks released a statement, saying in part, "The Chicago Blackhawks take allegations of workplace misconduct and organizational response very seriously, and it's why, over two years ago, we commissioned an extensive independent investigation into the troubling events that occurred in 2010."

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None of the Blackhawks members listed in the lawsuit are currently with the team. However, in 2010, another former "Black Ace," Kyle Beach, accused Aldrich of sexually assaulting him.

Beach detailed those allegations in a lawsuit, which he settled, in 2021. An independent investigation resulted in top Blackhawks executives losing their jobs and a $2 million NHL fine against the team.

The Blackhawks released details of that investigation, which found the organization waited three weeks during the 2009-2010 to look into Beach's allegations.

Beach chose to speak out about what happened to him.

"To see him paraded around, lifting up the cup at the parade, at the team pictures at the celebrations, it made me feel like nothing," Beach said. "It made me feel like I didn't exist."

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Beach said, back then, that he knew he wasn't the only one.

"I don't think that Kyle personally has been involved in the decision to go forward or file the lawsuit, but they did know one another, they were friends," said Susan Loggans, the attorney who represented Beach in his case against the Blackhawks. "I'm sure that seeing Kyle do that gave this person the heart to go forward and helped him understand that it's not just about him, but it's also about others in similar circumstances."

Aldrich would leave the team after the Stanley Cup celebration, eventually heading back to his hometown, where he was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor in 2013, for assaulting a 16-year-old high school player. Aldrich is now a registered sex offender in Michigan.

The team's general manager and president, Stan Bowman, resigned in 2021.

The Blackhawks were in action at United Center on Sunday evening, with some fans finding out about the newest lawsuit for the first time.

"It's just disappointing as a fan. The Blackhawks, I thought, were always the prime organization in the city. And, to kind of hear that there's this stuff going on, and the cover-up and all that kind of stuff ,it's really disappoints you as a fan," said Jack Sitta.

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