The ‘John Doe’ hockey player who accused a Blackhawks assistant coach of sexually assaulting him in 2010 has come forward.
Kyle Beach, 31, who currently plays professionally in Germany, revealed the bombshell during an emotional interview with Canadian sports network TSN Wednesday night – the day after a report chronicling an investigation into the incident was made public.
The report found that the Blackhawks had failed to act after Beach told several senior staffers that video coach Brad Aldrich had sexually assaulted the then 20-year-old during the team’s successful postseason run during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.
During the interview, Beach told reporter Rick Westhead that he felt an overwhelming sense of ‘relief and vindication’ upon the report’s release, which spurred him to finally speak up.
Kyle Beach said on Wednesday he is the player who raised sexual assault allegations against a Chicago Blackhawks coach in 2010, following the release of a report into the incident by the National Hockey League
Beach, a member of the Chicago club’s minor league affiliate team at the time of the alleged assault, made the revelation during an emotional interview with Canadian sports network TSN Wednesday night
‘It was a day of many emotions,’ Beach said during the Wednesday interview. ‘I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I cried some more.’
‘It was no longer my word against everybody else’s.’
Beach then added that he had ‘buried this’ secret for 11 years.
‘It destroyed me from the inside out,’ he told Westhead.
Beach was a member of the Chicago club’s minor league affiliate team at the time of the alleged assault, but was called up the main squad during that year’s postseason.
He added that he believed that all of the players and staffers in the Blackhawks locker room knew of the incident between him and Aldrich.
‘Word spread pretty quick,’ he said.
The 107-page document, made public Tuesday, refers to Beach as ‘John Doe,’ and found that ‘nothing was done’ by Blackhawks brass in 2010 after Beach told senior staffers that he had been sexually assaulted and harassed by then video coach Aldrich
‘Because the comments were made in the locker room, they were made on the ice, they were made around the arena with all different people of all different backgrounds – players, staff, media in the presence.’
The 107-page document, made public Tuesday, refers to Beach as ‘John Doe,’ and found that ‘nothing was done’ by Blackhawks brass in 2010 after the then aspiring pro player told senior staffers that he had been sexually assaulted and harassed by then video coach Aldrich.
Former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich allegedly sexually assaulted the then 20-year-old during the team’s successful postseason run during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, before being forced to resign by the team’s top brass
According to the report, commissioned by the Blackhawks and carried out by former U.S. attorney Reid Schar, the encounter between Beach and Aldrich, then 27, took place on May 8 or 9 in 2010.
During the encounter, Aldrich invited Beach to his apartment, ‘provided him with dinner and drinks,’ and ‘told him he had the power to get [Beach] onto the Blackhawks’ roster,’ and proceeded to turn on pornography, the report details.
The report also states that Aldrich threatened Beach with a souvenir baseball bat before forcibly performing oral sex on him and masturbating on his back, telling Beach that ‘he needed to act like he enjoyed the sexual encounter’ or he ‘would never play in the NHL “or walk” again’ – allegations that Beach also detailed in a lawsuit filed against the Blackhawks in May of this year.
Aldrich told investigators the encounter was consensual.
With that said, the ex-video coach was convicted of another sex crime in 2014, against a minor in Michigan in 2014. He is a registered sex offender, and was sentenced to nine months in prison for the assault.
After the document’s unveiling, the NHL fined the Blackhawks $2 million for the ‘organization’s inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response.’
The probe’s release also prompted the team’s general manager, Stan Bowman, to resign that day, as well as the Blackhawks’ senior vice president of hockey operations, Al MacIsaac – who both served on the 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team.
With the pair’s departure, there are no longer any members of the 2010 Blackhawks front office still with the team.
But that does not mean that the other former staffers who allegedly turned a blind eye to Beach’s allegations are necessarily safe.
The probe’s release Tuesday also prompted the team’s general manager, Stan Bowman, to resign
The team’s then coach, Joel Quenneville, who now coaches another NHL team, the Florida Panthers, is also scheduled to meet with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in New York on Thursday to discuss his role in the handling of the incident, the club announced Wednesday.
Kevin Cheveldayoff, who served as assistant general manager for Chicago at the time and now manages the Winnipeg Jets, is also slated to meet with the commissioner on Monday, CBC News reported.
During Wednesday’s TSN interview, Beach said that he then notified the team’s skill coach at the time, Paul Vincent, of the alleged assault.
Beach met with Vincent at the team hotel in San Jose sometime during the 2010 playoffs, and told the senior staffer what had happened, identifying Aldrich by name.
Vincent then reported the incident to members of the Blackhawks front office, who allowed Aldrich to stay with the team through the Stanley Cup run.
The report further reveals that on May 23, 2010, Blackhawks executives held a meeting about the sexual assault claims and decided they would not address them until after the playoffs.
The matter was not discussed again.
Former Blackhawks skill coach Paul Vincent told the team’s front office about the assault, but no action was taken after the fact
However, the next month, five days after Chicago won the Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks human resources director met with Aldrich, giving him the option to resign or face termination if Beach’s claims turned out to be true.
Aldrich chose to resign, and was permitted to participate in postseason celebrations, according to the investigation findings.
Aldrich received a severance and a playoff bonus, according to the report, and he was paid a salary ‘for several months.’ He hosted the Stanley Cup for a day in his hometown, and his name was engraved on the iconic trophy.
When asked by Westhead how it made him feel to see Aldrich remain with the team during the successful postseason, Beach said: ‘The only way I could describe it was that I felt sick, I felt sick to my stomach.’
‘I reported this and I was made aware that it made it all the way up the chain of command by Doc [James] Gary and nothing happened,’ Beach explained.
‘It was like his life was the same as the day before. Same every day. And then when they won, to see him paraded around lifting the Cup, at the parade, at the team pictures, at celebrations, it made me feel like nothing.
‘It made me feel like I didn’t exist. It made me feel like, that I wasn’t important and … it made me feel like he was in the right and I was wrong.
‘And that’s also what Doc Gary told me, that it was my fault because I put myself in that situation. And the combination of these and him being paraded around, then letting him take the Stanley Cup to a high school with kids after they knew what had happened.’
Beach also said he was let down by the NHL and wanted Commissioner Bettman to take the report’s findings seriously.
‘They continue to try and protect their name over the health and the well-being of the people that put their lives on the line every day to make the NHL what it is,’ he said.
‘I hope through and through that Gary Bettman takes this seriously.’
After the interview aired, the Blackhawks issued a statement.
‘First, we would like to acknowledge and commend Kyle Beach’s courage in coming forward,’ the team announced Wednesday night.
‘As an organization, the Chicago Blackhawks reiterate our deepest apologies to him for what he has gone through and for the organization’s failure to promptly respond when he bravely brought this matter to light in 2010.
‘It was inexcusable for the then-executives of the Blackhawks organization to delay taking action regarding the reported sexual misconduct. No playoff game or championship is more important than protecting our players and staff from predatory behavior.
‘The Blackhawks have implemented numerous changes and improvements within the organization, including hiring a new leadership team that is committed to winning championships while adhering to the highest ethical, professional, and athletic standards.’
The National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) also issued a statement Wednesday saying they had also let Beach down by failing to take action after the player reported the incident to association doctors.
‘Kyle Beach has been through a horrific experience and has shown true courage in telling his story,’ said NHLPA executive director Don Fehr.
‘There is no doubt that the system failed to support him in his time of need, and we are part of that system.’