NBA player Porzingis denies rape allegation: lawyer

(Reuters) – The lawyer for National Basketball Association player Kristaps Porzingis on Sunday denied an allegation that his client sexually assaulted a woman in 2018.

“We are aware of the complaint … and unequivocally deny the allegations,” the lawyer, Roland Riopelle, said in a statement to Reuters.

Riopelle told Newsday the sex was consensual.

Local media reported on Sunday that the New York Police Department had opened an investigation into the allegation against the 23-year-old Latvian-born center. A police spokesman said the department did not have a comment.

The New York Post reported that Porzingis had been accused of raping and beating a 29-year-old woman in his Manhattan penthouse hours after suffering a knee injury on Feb. 6, 2018, while playing for the New York Knicks.

The woman, who lived in the same building, made her allegation on Thursday and police investigators are considering her credible, a high-ranking source within the department told the Post.

Riopelle said the NBA was made aware of the rape allegation months ago, before Porzingis was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. He also said his legal team referred “extortionate demands” made by the accuser to federal law enforcement in December.

Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Peter Cooney

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