CHICAGO -- Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner, spoke to Kyle Beach Saturday to discuss what the league can do in order to protect its players following the allegations of a former first-round pick that he was sexually assaulted in 2010 by an assistant coach. The claims were mostly ignored by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Susan Loggans was an attorney representing Beach in a suit against the team. She said that Bettman had expressed his regret over what he had seen. He offered to help the NHL with any psychological services or other assistance that was available.
Loggans stated in an email to AP that there was much discussion about the future in order to prevent such an incident from happening again.
Beach, 31 years old, will also meet with Donald Fehr (the leader of the NHL Players Association) on Saturday via a separate videoconference call.
The AP left messages requesting comment from the NHLPA and NHL.
Unless they speak out publicly, the AP doesn't usually identify victims of sexual assault. Beach spoke to TSN Wednesday, and on Thursday posted a Twitter statement expressing gratitude for all the support he received over the past few days.
Chicago was fined $2 million by the NHL for its "inadequate internal procedures" and "insufficient and untimely reaction" to Beach's claims that he was sexually assaulted in 2010 by Brad Aldrich.
A report from an outside firm was requested by the team to respond to lawsuits filed by Beach and Aldrich, a former high school student who Aldrich was convicted in Michigan of assaulting. The report states that senior Blackhawks leaders discussed Beach's allegations at a May 23rd meeting, right after Chicago won the Stanley Cup. Aldrich claimed that the encounter was consensual.
Although different accounts of the meeting's contents differ, the report found that there was no evidence of any action taken about the allegations before John McDonough, then-team president, contacted the director of human resources of the team on June 14, which was a delay that violated the sexual harassment policy of the organization.
Aldrich traveled with and worked for the team during those three weeks. Reid Schar, a former federal prosecutor, was the one who conducted the investigation. He said that Aldrich made "unwanted sexual advances" towards a 22-year old Blackhawks intern.
According to the Blackhawks report, Fehr was called twice by Beach confidants about Aldrich allegations. Fehr admitted to investigators that he didn't remember either conversation, but he did not deny they had occurred.
Wednesday night, Fehr stated in a statement that there was no doubt that the system had failed Beach.