Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis has been accused of raping a New York neighbor on Feb. 7, 2018, hours after suffering a serious knee injury while playing for the Knicks, the New York Post reported Saturday.
The alleged victim contacted police this week with details of the alleged rape, according to the Post.
The Post said that the accuser was considered “believable” despite waiting more than 13 months to report the incident. She told police that she and Porzingis discussed $68,000 in hush money.
Porzingis’ attorney, Roland G. Riopelle, issued the following statement to ESPN on Saturday:
“We are aware of the complaint that was made against Mr. Porzingis on Friday and unequivocally deny the allegations. 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.
“We cannot comment further on an ongoing federal investigation. Please refer any questions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the National Basketball Association.”
The 23-year-old Porzingis was traded to the Mavericks on Jan. 31. Owner Mark Cuban is aware of the accusation as the Mavericks were informed about it on a conference call to finalize the trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“We have been instructed by federal authorities not to comment,” Cuban told The Post in an email. The Post said Cuban copied the email to NBA officials and Porzingis’ representatives.
According to the Post, the woman lived in the same building as Porzingis and said he showed up at her unit around 2 a.m. She accepted an invitation to Porzingis’ suite.
She told police that after entering, the 7-foot-3 Porzingis held her down and raped her, according to the Post.
The woman said she waited more than a year to report the rape because of the money Porzingis promised in exchange for her silence.
The $68,000 was supposed to pay for her brother’s college tuition, but Porzingis reneged on the deal, the woman reportedly told police.
Porzingis tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee earlier that night in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. He never played for the Knicks again due to the injury and the recent trade.
The Knicks were reportedly contacted by the New York Post about the allegation.
“This is Kristaps’ personal matter and not related to the Knicks,” a team spokesman said.
Porzingis averaged 17.8 points and 7.1 rebounds in 186 games over three seasons with the Knicks.
—Field Level Media