Erie County's district attorney spoke in generalities, for the first time Wednesday, when asked about the police investigation into hockey star Patrick Kane.
Kane is the subject of a probe by Hamburg Police about an incident that allegedly happened at his Hamburg home earlier this month. The department is awaiting results of forensic testing.
The South Buffalo native, who has helped his Chicago Blackhawks win three Stanley Cups since being drafted first overall in 2007, has not been charged with a crime. The Buffalo News has reported it is a rape investigation involving a woman who went to Kane's Hamburg home after a night of partying at a local nightclub. Local authorities have not confirmed the nature of the case.
DA Frank Sedita, who emphasized he would not discuss the Kane case specifically, said such investigations are easier to conduct outside of the glare of the media.
"What happens if that investigation, after I've announced that this person is under investigation, clears somebody? That person cannot get their reputation back. That person will always have a cloud over their head," Sedita said following the sentencing of another individual in Erie County Court.
Sedita says his office does not comment on specific cases unless someone is accused of a crime. But he did talk about the nature of investigations involving public figures, saying his office treats all individuals in the same manner.
"I don't turn on extra heat on somebody because they're a celebrity and I don't give them a break because they're a celebrity. Everybody is treated equally and with the same standard that we apply with every case," Sedita said.
The district attorney criticized those who come to conclusions about a person's guilt or innocence based on rumor and speculation.
"I am amazed by this conflation between rumor, innuendo, theory, speculation and fact, without any effort to differentiate those things," he said.
Sedita said public persons are not treated any differently by his office. He says the decision to prosecute an individual is "serious as a heart attack" and guided only by professional codes and standards.