Kings, NBA release results of Luke Walton sexual assault investigation

James Ham
NBC Sports BayArea

The NBA and the Sacramento Kings announced the conclusion of their joint investigation into a female reporter's allegations of improper sexual conduct against coach Luke Walton on Friday.

According to an official press release from the team, the investigation found insufficient evidence to support Kelli Tennant's sexual assault claims against Walton and is considered closed unless new evidence becomes available.

"Luke Walton is our head coach, and we support him and his team as they continue to prepare for the upcoming season," the Kings told NBC Sports California in a statement.

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The Kings said that Tennant, through her counsel, chose not to participate in the investigation, despite numerous attempts.

"Based on this and the available evidence, the investigators determined that there was not a sufficient basis to support the allegations made against Coach Walton," the statement read.

Just one week after the Kings hired Walton, Tennant filed a civil lawsuit against the former Lakers coach on April 22. She claimed Walton made unwanted sexual advances toward her during a 2014 meeting in a Southern California hotel room, and continued to make "verbal and physical harassment, and unwanted physical contact over a three-year period."

According to the Kings, more than 20 individuals, including Walton, were interviewed during the course of the joint investigation, which was led by Sue Ann Van Dermyden, from the Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux, and Elizabeth Maringer, senior vice president and assistant general counsel of the NBA.

Now, Walton will continue his duties as Kings coach, which he has carried out since April. With training camp a little over a month away, he is preparing for the upcoming season.

"I am 100% focused on coaching the Sacramento Kings, and energized to work with this incredible group of players and coaches as we start the preseason," Walton said in a statement. "I will have no further comment."

There was no immediate word on what this means for Tennant's civil lawsuit against Walton, although that likely will continue.

Kings, NBA release results of Luke Walton sexual assault investigation originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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