The alleged victim of a reported sexual assault in a Philadelphia hotel suite rented by Andray Blatche spoke publicly about the incident for the first time on Wednesday, telling a television news station that while the Brooklyn Nets forward/center "didn't have intercourse with me," he was "aware" of what she claims was going on in the suite "the whole time."
Philadelphia police brought Blatche and two associates in for questioning on Tuesday morning in connection with the sexual assault complaint. After questioning, the Nets reserve was released and not charged with any wrongdoing. The other two men, ages 41 and 25, were held longer, but released Wednesday.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsay told The New York Times on Tuesday that, "from all accounts, [Blatche] was not personally involved in any kind of assault or anything like that [...] He was there, but he was not involved.” A police spokesperson told the New York Daily News on Wednesday that the department would issue no further "detailed information [or] names of any person or person(s) potentially involved," citing the early stages of the ongoing investigation. No charges have been filed, Philadelphia police spokesman Lt. John Stanford told Newsday.
The alleged victim — a 21-year-old student who spoke with ABC6 Action News in Philadelphia on condition of anonymity — says she met with Blatche and several of his associates at Delilah's, a local "gentleman's club and steakhouse," where the the 26-year-old player was celebrating the Nets' Monday afternoon decision to fully guarantee his one-year, veteran's minimum salary contract. After leaving the club, the alleged victim said, the group went back to Blatche's suite at the Four Seasons Hotel, where the Nets were staying ahead of a Tuesday night matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers; there, she said, she "believes she was drugged."
"I think I was already. I had to be already. Because it was like slowly ... I was, I felt strange," the student said. [...] It was like I was asleep, but I was still conscious. I heard everything that was around me, but I couldn't, I couldn't move ... and not long after that that was when the first guy came in. It was like he rolled me over and had his way."
She says Blatche and another man watched from the door.
"And then the other guy came in, the short one with the dreads and then he had his way. It was like they kept peeking in. He went to the door a few times, opened the door, and then they were all three at the door," she said.
The alleged victim says Blatche entered next.
"He peeked in the room just like the other two. He just didn't — when he came in, he didn't have intercourse with me," the student said.
But she says, the player did nothing to stop the alleged assault.
"He was not oblivious. He was aware the whole time," she said of Blatche.
After his release by Philadelphia investigators, Blatche rejoined the Nets for their Tuesday night game at the Wells Fargo Center against the 76ers. He performed well, scoring 20 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 22 1/2 minutes off the Brooklyn bench in a 109-89 win, the Nets' fourth in a row. The team next plays Friday, welcoming the Phoenix Suns to the Barclays Center.
Where the matter goes from here remains unclear, but could depend on the results of multiple lab tests being conducted by Philadelphia police. Blatche voluntarily submitted to a DNA swab prior to his release; police have reportedly taken a blood sample from the alleged victim to determine whether she was in fact drugged and how intoxicated she was at the time of the incident; and evidence found in Blatche's hotel suite, including drugs of an as-yet-unspecified nature, still must be analyzed.
“The lab needs to process evidence from the hotel room; there’s a large amount of [toxicology and DNA] lab work to be done, so it’s going to be awhile,” Philadelphia police Lt. Anthony McFadden said, according to the New York Post.
Blatche's attorney, A. Charles Peruto Jr., said Wednesday he's confident that no matter how long the investigation takes, it will not uncover any wrongdoing by Blatche.
"They can investigate from now till doomsday; they are not going to arrest my client," A. Charles Peruto Jr., Blatche's attorney, told ABC6. "They are not going to find any evidence that implicates him. He's totally innocent."
After a seven-year career with the Washington Wizards that was largely disappointing on the court and featured multiple incidents off it resulted in the team using the collective bargaining agreement's amnesty clause on him last year, Blatche joined the Nets this summer on an unguaranteed deal in the hope of rehabilitating his career as a reserve big man capable of spelling center Brook Lopez and power forward Kris Humphries. He has played well for coaches Avery Johnson and P.J. Carlesimo, averaging 11.3 points and 6.1 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game in 35 appearances, including seven starts.