~ July, 2021 ~ More details have emerged about allegations against former Chicago Blackhawks coach Bradley Aldrich.
An amended version of one of two lawsuits filed against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday claim former team video coach Bradley Aldrich forced a player to have nonconsensual sex by threatening him with a small baseball bat.
The details from an unidentified player of the NHL team emerged after the Chicago Sun-Times obtained copies of the amended lawsuits.
The two lawsuits against the Blackhawks were filed in Cook County Circuit Court. Chicago law firm Jenner & Block has been investigating the allegations since late June that Aldrich sexually assaulted two players during the 2010 playoffs and that management refused to report the incident to police.
The investigation is also looking to claims that the Blackhawks recommended Aldrich to future employers, after which he assaulted a 16-year-old Michigan high school student three years later.
The documents obtained by the Sun-Times graphically describe some of the allegations against Aldrich. One of the amended lawsuits alleges Aldrich invited the player, called “John Doe 1,” to his apartment in May 2010 to view game clips together. However, Aldrich allegedly turned on pornography when Doe 1 arrived and began to masturbate.
Doe 1 attempted to leave, but Aldrich allegedly blocked the exit and threatened him with a souvenir Cubs baseball bat. The former video coach also told him he would “never play in the NHL…if [he] did not engage in nonconsensual sexual activity with Aldrich at that time,” according to the Sun-Times‘ account of the lawsuit.
Aldrich then allegedly “forcibly touch[ed]” Doe 1 and performed other “lewd and lascivious” acts, according to the report.
The Sun-Times also wrote that the lawsuit claims Blackhawks skills coach James Gary later convinced Doe 1 he was responsible for the incident and that Aldrich continued to harass the player with text messages.
The suit further stated another coach informed team executives, which allegedly included then-president John McDonough and current general manager Stan Bowman, about the incident shortly after it allegedly occurred, but the group did not notify police.
The Blackhawks filed a motion in early July to dismiss the suits, claiming it had no “statutory duty” to report the matter because the accuser was not a minor or disabled.
Bowman spoke about the investigation during a press conference on Thursday.
“I do not condone or tolerate harassment or assault of any type,” he said. “[But] we need to give the experts [investigating this] the necessary time and the latitude to do their job well.”
An amended version of the second lawsuit filed by “John Doe 2” was also filed on Thursday. This suit comes from the 16-year-old whom Aldrich confessed to sexually assaulting in 2013. The change in that suit was made to argue against the Blackhawks’ motion to dismiss the case.
The John Doe 1 case also claims Aldrich “repeatedly invited young interns” working for the team to his apartment, according to the lawsuit. Blackhawks management and coaches were aware of this behavior, the suit also alleges.
Doe 1 was later allegedly subjected to homophobic verbal abuse from other players while coaches were present, according to the lawsuit, which caused him much psychological duress.
Aldrich left the Blackhawks after the 2010 Stanley Cup championship parade. He then had a brief stint as an assistant coach at Miami University (Ohio). Two allegations of Aldrich initiating unwanted sexual contact while there have also emerged this summer.