Just one day after the Chicago Blackhawks released the findings of the Jenner & Block investigation into allegations of sexual assault against former video coach Brad Aldrich, former prospect Kyle Beach revealed that he was the player who filed a lawsuit against the Blackhawks over their handling of the alleged assault.
Beach, a 2008 first-round pick of the Blackhawks who was identified only as “John Doe 1” in court filings and in the Jenner & Block report, revealed his identity on TSN's "SportsCentre" during an interview with journalist Rick Westhead, who has extensively covered the story.
Beach alleges that he was sexually assaulted by Aldrich in the former video coach's apartment during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and alleges that the Blackhawks failed to act to address the issue after he brought the matter up to several individuals within the organization, including former mental skills coach Jim Gary.
“I don’t think we could have ever imagined what came out of yesterday’s press conference. It’s a great feeling of relief, vindication, and it was no longer my word against everybody else’s," Beach said. "I really felt like there was a lot of lies told in the media, and it was very special and important to me to have that truth come out yesterday.”
Beach, identified in the report as a “Black Ace” who was with the Blackhawks during their 2010 Stanley Cup title-winning run, alleges that Aldrich sexually assaulted him in the former coach's apartment in May 2010.
Beach alleges that Aldrich turned on pornography after watching hockey highlights, and that he "threatened John Doe by telling him he needed to act like he enjoyed the sexual encounter or John Doe would never play in the NHL or walk again."
He then forcibly performed sexual acts on the player and threatened him again, according to the allegations.
Aldrich told investigators that the sexual encounter was consensual, and denied any wrongdoing in the case.
Two weeks after the incident, the matter was discussed by a group of Blackhawks executives and coaches, including former President and GM Stan Bowman, former head coach Joel Quenneville, and former Blackhawks CEO John McDonough.
The information was then tabled until after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in June 2010, according to the report. A short time later, Aldrich was ordered by the team's head of Human Relations and the team's outside counsel to either resign his position or face an investigation into the incident, and the coach opted to resign.
Beach filed a lawsuit against the Blackhawks earlier this year, alleging that the Blackhawks ignored his sexual assault allegations against Aldrich. The team has filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit, and the matter is still under investigation.
The team launched its own investigation into the matter, and released a report with the investigation’s findings on Tuesday.
“Yesterday was a day of many emotions. I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I cried some more, and my girlfriend and I didn’t really know what to feel or how to think," Beach said of the report's release. "We just held each other and supported each other.”
Following that release, Bowman and MacIsaac left the organization. McDonough parted ways with the organization in the spring of 2020, while Quenneville is now the head coach of the Florida Panthers. He has a meeting set with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday.
Winnipeg Jets G.M. Kevin Cheveldayoff, who was with the Blackhawks in 2010 and participated in the May 23 meeting, will also meet with the commissioner, according to reports.