Ex-Trail Blazers G Ben McLemore issues statement after arrest on rape charges: 'The truth will come to light'

Ben McLemore has been playing professionally overseas since his stint with the Trail Blazers ended

Ben McLemore has been playing professionally overseas since his stint with the Trail Blazers ended

Content warning: This story includes descriptions of alleged domestic violence.

Former Portland Trail Blazers guard Ben McLemore was arrested and charged Tuesday after he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in 2021 when he was playing for the franchise, according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.

On Thursday, the 31-year-old released a statement via social media that emphasized his innocence.

"I am not accused of using physical force to rape someone. Rather, I am accused of engaging in sexual activity with someone who now claims she did not consent. I did not rape this woman. I am not sexually abusive. I have never pursued a sexual relationship when I understood the woman was not interested in me and acting willingly," McLemore wrote in a statement to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

McLemore added that he believes he will be absolved when more facts are revealed.

"My attorneys and I cooperated fully with the investigation," the statement continued. "I met every request they made of me, immediately and professionally ... The truth will come to light. I am confident we will prevail and my name will be cleared. Thank you all for your support. I appreciate all of you and am confident this will turn out as it should."

McLemore, who most recently was playing professionally in Spain, was arrested Tuesday at the Portland International Airport. He was charged with one count of first-degree rape, one count of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration and two counts of second-degree sexual abuse.

He offered to travel back to the United States and testify in front of a grand jury, but he was "refused that opportunity," according to his statement.

The alleged incident took place on Oct. 3, 2021, when McLemore was playing for the Trail Blazers. A Clackamas County grand jury heard evidence in the case earlier this year, per the report, including testimony from the alleged victim. An arrest warrant was issued soon after. Further specifics about the alleged incident are not yet known.

“We applaud the courage of the survivor to come forward and put herself through this arduous process, and we will continue to support her in any way we can,” police said, via ESPN.

McLemore was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the No. 7 pick in 2013 out of Kansas. He spent four seasons with the Kings and then had short stints with the Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers before landing in Portland. He averaged 10.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game with the Trail Blazers off the bench.

He hasn’t played in the league since then, though he has played for teams in China, Greece and Spain. He most recently played for Rio Breogan in Spain earlier this month.

McLemore has posted bail and has been released. He is due in court in July.