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Chicago Blackhawks settle with a former player who says he was sexually assaulted

Former Chicago Blackhawks Kyle Beach player is shown here during a preseason NHL hockey game in 2008 in Dallas.
Tony Gutierrez
Associated Press
Former Chicago Blackhawks Kyle Beach player is shown here during a preseason NHL hockey game in 2008 in Dallas.

The Chicago Blackhawks settled a lawsuit filed by a former player who said he was sexually assaulted by an assistant coach during the team's Stanley Cup-winning season in 2010.

Representatives for the Blackhawks and their former player, Kyle Beach, met for the first time Wednesday for mediation that resulted in a confidential settlement between the two parties.

"The Blackhawks hope that this resolution will bring some measure of peace and closure for Mr. Beach," attorneys for the hockey team said in a statement.

"As for the Blackhawks organization, we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that, going forward, this team will be a beacon for professionalism, respect and integrity in our community," their statement added. "We remain grateful for the trust and support of the Blackhawks community, and we promise to continue working every day to earn and maintain that trust."

Beach originally filed the lawsuit in May as an anonymous John Doe, saying the organization mishandled his sexual assault allegations. He came forward publicly in October as the man behind the lawsuit.

In an emotional, televised interview, Beach disclosed detail of his assault, how the team treated him, and the emotional fallout of his assault. Beach was 20 years old at the time of his attack.

According to his allegations, Beach complained to team leaders in 2010 that assistant coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him. Upper management of the Blackhawks ignored his complaints until after the team won the Stanley Cup that season.

Beach's lawsuit forced an independent investigation that confirmed his claims. After the report was published, the team ousted two top officials who were there at the time: Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman and senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac.

Additionally, Joel Quenneville, the coach of the Blackhawks at the time of Beach's assault, resigned from his job with the Florida Panthers. The National Hockey League also fined Chicago $2 million.

NPR reporter Jonathan Franklin contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jaclyn Diaz is a reporter on Newshub.