The New York Police Department is currently investigating Kristaps Porzingis after claims that he allegedly raped his neighbor in 2018, just hours after he tore his ACL while playing with the New York Knicks, according to Tina Moore of the New York Post.
According to the report, Porzingis returned home to his Manhattan apartment on Feb. 7, 2018, after the 23-year-old tore his ACL against the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden — an injury that he is still recovering from. Porzingis allegedly visited a neighbor’s apartment in the same building around 2 a.m. and invited her back to his apartment. That’s when he allegedly “held her down and raped her,” per the report.
The woman officially made her allegation on Thursday afternoon, and is considered both credible and “believable,” per the report. She reportedly admitted to police that she discussed receiving $68,000 in “hush money” from Porzingis. That money, she said, was initially promised to her from Porzingis to pay for her brother’s college tuition, though Porzingis later “reneged” on the promise, per the report. It’s unclear if money ever changed hands.
Representatives for Porzingis declined to comment to the New York Post about the accusation. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban — who successfully agreed to a trade to land the 7-foot-3 center in January — said they have been made aware of the accusation. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks informed the Mavericks about the allegations on the official trade call, and that the league had been made aware of them before that time.
“We have been instructed by federal authorities not to comment,” Cuban wrote in an email to the New York Post.
Porzingis' attorney, Roland G. Riopelle, issued a statement to ESPN on Saturday afternoon saying that they have been aware of the investigation for months.
"We are aware of the complaint that was made against Mr. Porzingis on Friday and unequivocally deny the allegations,” Riopelle said in the statement. “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."
Porzingis averaged 22.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in 48 games that season for the Knicks, his third in the league. He is expected to return to the court at full strength next season in Dallas.
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