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Photo: Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

An amended sexual assault lawsuit against former Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Brad Aldrich contains new allegations that Aldrich threatened a former player with a souvenir baseball bat before forcing nonconsensual sex, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Why it matters: Aldrich, who worked as an assistant high school hockey coach after leaving the Blackhawks, was convicted on criminal sexual conduct charges involving a student in 2013, per AP. The unnamed player sued the team earlier this year, alleging a pattern of inaction that enabled Aldrich to continue his behavior for years and later abuse the student.

Details: The amended suit alleges that Aldrich "repeatedly invited young [Blackhawks] interns" to his private apartment, and that team employees "were aware of this behavior and found it to be quite unusual."

  • In May 2010, the former player — named in the suit as John Doe — was at Aldrich's place for coaching advice when Aldrich turned on pornography and began to masturbate in front of him, the lawsuit alleges.
  • Brandishing a bat and blocking the only exit from the apartment, Aldrich allegedly threatened the player with financial ruin and a destroyed career if he did not give into Aldrich's demands of nonconsensual sex.
  • The former player, who is seeking more than $150,000 in damages, also accuses Aldrich of assaulting another unidentified Blackhawks player.

Two Blackhawks players reported Aldrich's misconduct to then-skills coach Paul Vincent in May 2010, according to TSN.

  • Leadership allegedly took no action.
  • Meanwhile, other Blackhawks players used homophobic language to repeatedly harass the victim while coaches were present, per the lawsuit.

Worth noting: The former student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting filed a separate lawsuit against the Blackhawks in May, claiming the team gave Houghton High School a "positive review and/or employment verification" of Aldrich despite allegations from at least one player.

  • The student was a hockey player at Houghton when Aldrich sexually assaulted him in 2013.

What they're saying: "Had the Blackhawks accurately reported what had occurred with John Doe 1, then Aldrich would never have been allowed to be in a position where he could molest other people," Susan Loggans, who represents both plaintiffs, told AP.

  • An attorney for Aldrich told WBEZ that his client denies the allegations.
  • "The reaction whenever you hear allegations like that are concerning. But my first reaction is, 'Tell me the facts,'" NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman later said in an interview with WBEZ.
  • The Blackhawks said in a statement to the radio station that the allegations against the team "lack merit." Its media office did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.

4 hours ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.

By the numbers: Catholics, Biden and abortion

Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden — the second Catholic U.S. president — will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, as some church leaders debate whether to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

By the numbers: Overall, two in three U.S. Catholics believe Biden should be allowed to take Communion despite his stance on abortion, according to polling by Pew Research Center.