The beloved Chicago Blackhawks franchise has skeletons in its closet. While it has a loyal following of fans, the thought of this organization for sexual assault victims is gut-wrenching.
In the developing story of the Chicago Blackhawks, three victims have been working closely with Attorney Christopher Cortese of Hurley McKenna and Mertz since 2021. These individuals allege they were either sexually assaulted by former Chicago Blackhawks video coach, Brad Aldrich, or punished for reporting the abuse.
One of the victims, a former Ohio University (Miami) student, alleges he was groomed, then raped by Aldrich.
Another states that Aldrich sent him unwanted sexually explicit messages and photos.
The former Blackhawks’ Skills Coach, Paul Vincent, has also retained Hurley McKenna & Mertz, alleging he was blacklisted within the organization after encouraging senior executives to report Aldrich’s alleged misconduct in 2010.
Cortese contacted the Chicago Blackhawks in December to detail the allegations of the potential plaintiffs against the NHL team. This contact occurred two months after the Blackhawks settled a similar lawsuit with former player Kyle Beach.
Blackhawks Whistleblowers Were Treated Unfairly
Those who become victims of sexual assault may be unsure if their experience is even considered sexual abuse or assault. Some try to rationalize why or how the assault occurred. Others try to accept the blame as their own.
In the case of the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the victims stated he reported the assault to the Chicago Blackhawks and the team covered it up, refusing to report Aldrich to the police.
Furthermore, the former Blackhawks’ Skills Coach, Paul Vincent, who recently corroborated Kyle Beach’s allegations, recalls receiving a severe pay cut shortly after encouraging the Blackhawks leadership team to report allegations of abuse.
The victims of the Aldrich assaults described long-term effects ranging from academic and professional decline to substance abuse issues.
What to Know About Sexual Assault of Males
Stigmas surrounding sexual assault victims, especially males, are prevalent throughout our society. Men may feel shame or self-doubt after experiencing an assault. However, many would be surprised to learn that 1 out of every 6 men has been sexually abused or assaulted.
Statistics also show that males are less likely to report these occurrences compared to females. Yet, sexual assault does not discriminate based on gender—all people can become victims of sexual assault.
The definition of sexual assault is not limited to gender, it is defined as:
“An act in which one intentionally sexually touches another person without that person’s consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will.”
After an assault occurs, many victims contemplate whether or not they should report the incident. Those who are courageous enough to seek justice are often silenced by powerful organizations. The silencing of victims by powerful organizations is frightening. Cases like this, and the recent UCLA story, are just the tip of the iceberg.
Are You Or A Loved One A Victim Of Sexual Assault?
Understanding that sexual abuse occurs to people of all genders, ages, and abilities, can be difficult. At Hurley McKenna and Mertz, our experienced team can help guide victims through the process of seeking justice against those who caused them harm.
If you or a loved one are a survivor of sexual assault by a coach, athletic director, or other sports professional, understand that it is your right to seek legal action against them.
We’ve helped thousands of survivors in cases against their assailants, and we’d like to stand up for you, too.
We want to get to know you, your situation, and how we can help you get the justice and healing you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.