CHICAGO — The player at the center of the Blackhawks’ sexual assault controversy in 2010 revealed his identity Wednesday.
Kyle Beach told reporter Rick Westhead on TSN Canada’s “SportsCentre” that he is the “John Doe” who is cited in a lawsuit and in the Jenner and Block investigation into the handling of sexual assault allegations against Bradley Aldrich by the Blackhawks during the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2010.
He made the decision to reveal his identity a day after the release of the investigation.
“Just a great feeling of relief, vindication,” Beach told Westhead. “And it was no longer my word against everybody else’s. Because a lot of things were made public, a lot of people were interviewed, and I really felt like a lot of lies were told in the media. It was very special and important to me to have that truth come out yesterday.”
Beach was the 11th overall pick for the Blackhawks in 2008 and played for the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL from 2008-2013. During the 2009-2010 playoffs, he was called up to Chicago to be one of the “Black Aces,” who were prospects that would practice with the team or be emergency fill-ins for injured players in the playoffs.
The sexual encounter occurred on May 2010 when Aldrich invited Beach over to watch hockey videos and then threatened him with a souvenir baseball bat before forcibly performing oral sex on him, according to the Jenner and Block investigation.
After the incident, Beach recalls Aldrich saying, “You can’t tell anyone about this; it is our little secret; no one can find out or I will make sure you never play in the NHL.” The Jenner and Block findings can be read here.
Beach said that he first revealed what had happened to Paul Vincent, the team’s skills coach.
“I was scared mostly. I was fearful. I had my career threatened. I felt alone and dark,” Beach said to Westhead on TSN when asked about the days after the encounter. “I felt like I was alone and there was nothing I could do and nobody I could turn to for help. And I didn’t know what to do as a 20-year-old. I would never dream, or you could never imagine being put in this situation by somebody who’s supposed to be there to help you and to make you a better hockey player and a better person and continue to build your career. Just scared and alone with no idea what to do.”
While the allegations were brought up to Blackhawks’ management on May 23 nothing was officially done until June 14 when executives went to the team’s human relations department. Aldrich remained with the team through their Stanley Cup Final win over the Flyers and then the celebration at a number of different events.
“The only way I could describe it was that I felt sick, I felt sick to my stomach. I reported this and I was made aware that it made it all the way up the chain of command by ‘Doc’ Gary and nothing happened. It was like his life was the same as the day before. Same every day,” Beach said. “And then when they won, to see him paraded around lifting the Cup, at the parade, at the team pictures, at celebrations, it made me feel like nothing. It made me feel like I didn’t exist.
“It made me feel like, that I wasn’t important and…it made me feel like he was in the right and I was wrong. And that’s also what ‘Doc’ Gary told me, that it was my fault because I put myself in that situation.”
Coming forward with now was a major step for Beach, who felt it was time to reveal his identity after the release of the report.
“It’s a big step for me, my process of recovery, as I process the events that happened and as I truly deal with the underlying issues that I have from them,” he said. “For me, I wanted to come forward and put my name on this. To be honest, it’s already out there. The details were pretty accurate in the report, and it’s been figured out. More than that, I’ve been a survivor, I am a survivor. And I know I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one, male or female. And I buried this for 10 years, 11 years. And it’s destroyed me from the inside out.
Beach is now playing hockey in Germany. He says he wants everyone in the sports world to know that they are not alone.
“If these things happen to you, you need to speak up,” he said.
Aldrich was convicted of a sex crime against a minor in Michigan in 2014. He is a registered sex offender.