New York (AFP) – Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis is being investigated in New York after being accused of raping a woman last year, the New York Post reported on Saturday.
The Post, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, said the woman told police this week about the alleged assault in February of 2018, saying she didn’t come forward sooner because she had discussed getting $68,000 from Porzingis to keep quiet.
The Post said that the accuser was considered “believable” despite waiting more than 13 months to report the incident.
Porzingis’ attorney, Roland Riopelle, issued a statement to ESPN in the wake of the Post report denying the accusation.
“We are aware of the complaint that was made against Mr. Porzingis on Friday and unequivocally deny the allegations,” Riopelle said. “We made a formal referral to federal law enforcement on December 20th, 2018, based on the accuser’s extortionate demands.
“We also alerted the National Basketball Association months ago, and they are aware of the ongoing investigation of the accuser by federal law enforcement.”
Latvia’s Porzingis, 23, was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on January 31. Mavs owner Mark Cuban told the Post in an email that the club was aware of the accusation.
“We have been instructed by federal authorities not to comment,” Cuban told The Post.
According to the Post, the woman accusing Porzingis was a neighbor who says he invited to his apartment on February 7, 2018.
The newspaper said the woman told police that after she entered the 7-foot-3-inch player’s home he held her down and raped her.
Hours earlier, Porzingis had suffered a torn knee ligament while playing for the Knicks.
Porzingis didn’t play for the Knicks again, and has yet to make his debut for the Mavericks as he continues his injury recovery.