Conflicting reports of settlement talks in Patrick Kane investigation

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HAMBURG, NY -- There are conflicting reports about settlement talks in the Patrick Kane rape case.

The Chicago Tribune reports those talks have been happening for weeks.

One of the reported sticking points is that both Kane and the accuser both view themselves as the wronged party.

But Kane’s attorney told WGN that there are no settlement talks.

Reaching a settlement can be a complicated process when it comes to professional athletes, according to ESPN Legal Analyst Lester Munson.

"It's tricky to settle something like this if Patrick Kane wishes to make peace with the accuser," Munson said on WGN Morning News.  "He must do it in a way that protects her identity, that protects her situation."

Munson says athletes like NBA star Kobe Bryant and NFL star Ben Roethlisberger both resumed careers after settling with women who accused them of sexual misconduct.

"Ordinarily, the settlement would be done with a confidentiality clause that would require both sides not to discuss it in any way, with any of us in the media," said Munson.  "If they settle, it could be the end of the criminal investigation."

All this comes as prosecutors in New York prepare to take their case to a grand jury this month.

A woman is accusing Kane of raping her at his home after a night out at a bar.

Prosecutors were about to present her and her friend to a grand jury, but they postponed that.

Kane has stayed out of the public since he was accused last month.

But he is showing up to Blackhawks training camp Friday at Notre Dame.

Munson noted that neither the NHL nor the Blackhawks have suspended Kane when other NHL players have been suspended in the past while under investigation.

Team officials are expected to address the matter today.

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