According to a report by The New York Post, an unnamed 29-year-old woman has accused Dallas Mavericks player Kristaps Porzingis of raping her last February.
The alleged incident took place on Feb. 7, 2018, the same night that Porzingis tore the ACL in his left knee, an injury that has prevented the Latvian from playing in the NBA since that date.
Porzingis was traded by the Knicks to the Mavericks at the end of January in exchange for a package of players and draft picks.
Accuser Says Porzingis Backed Out of $68K Payment
According to the New York Post report, the woman who made the accusation lived in the same luxury Manhattan building as Porzingis. According to sources cited in the report, she told police that the NBA star had invited her up to his penthouse at around 2 am that night, but then held her down and raped her.
The women only reported the incident to police on Thursday afternoon. According to The Post’s source, she told law enforcement officers that she waited to file a report because Porzingis had initially promised to pay her $68,000 to fund her brother’s college tuition, but later backed away from that agreement. That same NYPD source told The Post that they found the accuser to be “believable.”
According to emails and text messages that were obtained by ESPN, the woman had also contacted the legal department of the New York Knicks in the hopes of mediating the payment. According to an ESPN report, those messages show that the woman had hoped to continue into a relationship with Porzingis even after the alleged assault, but that she also expected him to honor a commitment to pay the $68,000 into her brother’s college fund.
According to that same report, the woman has a statement that is signed by both her and Porzingis in which he promises to make that payment. However, attorney Roland G. Riopelle, who is representing Porzingis, told ESPN that he believes the document was forged.
Porzingis Reported Accusation to Law Enforcement
In a statement, Riopelle also said that Porzingis “unequivocally” denies the allegations, saying that they had already acknowledged the situation to law enforcement months ago.
“We made a formal referral to federal law enforcement on December 20, 2018, based on the accuser’s extortionate demands,” Riopelle said. “We also alerted the National Basketball Association months ago and they are aware of the ongoing investigation of the accuser by federal law enforcement.”
Riopelle said that he could not comment any further due to the ongoing federal investigation. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also told The Post that federal authorities had instructed the franchise not to comment on the situation.
According to a tweet by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, league sources say that the Knicks had informed the Mavericks of the allegations against Porzingis before trading the forward to Dallas.
On the February trade call to finalize the Dallas-New York deal, the Knicks informed the Mavericks of the pending rape allegation against Kristaps Porzingis, league sources tell ESPN. The league office had been previously made aware of the allegations.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 31, 2019
The 23-year-old Porzingis has played three NBA seasons. He was enjoying his best season yet in 2017-2018, averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game and earning his first All-Star appearance before suffering his season-ending injury.