NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – According to a new report, the NYPD is investigating a woman’s claim that she was raped by NBA star Kristaps Porzingis while he was with the New York Knicks in 2018.
The New York Post reports that a woman in her 20s has told police that the former Knick held her down and forced himself on her after the woman accepted an invitation to the athlete’s penthouse in Midtown West.
The incident allegedly occurred on Feb. 7, 2018 – just hours after the 7-foot-3 Latvian suffered a devastating ACL tear in his left knee at Madison Square Garden.
“The NYPD takes sexual assault and rape cases extremely seriously, and urges anyone who has been a victim to file a report so we can perform a comprehensive investigation, and offer support and services to survivors,” an NYPD spokesperson told CBS2 Saturday night.
The Post’s report adds that the woman only came forward on Thursday and says she allegedly discussed a hush money payment of $68,000 with Porzingis before talking to police.
Porzingis’ lawyer, Roland G. Riopelle, issued the following statement regarding the allegations:
“This is a situation where I was retained to represent Mr. Porzingis. The allegation relates to an incident that occurred more than a year ago. At some point last year, I was retained because the complaining witness was harassing Mr. Porzingis and demanding money. After a careful investigation of the allegation, we shared our results with the National Basketball Association, the Knicks, and ultimately the Mavericks as well. When the complaining witnesses started demanding for money in exchange for going away, she became more frantic and insistent, we ultimately made a referral to law enforcement as well. She was attempting to extort Mr. Porzingis by damaging his reputation as well. We made that referral to law enforcement in December 2018, and she continued to demand money over the past few months and has now apparently gone to law enforcement on her own.
If the Post story is correct, then someone in the police department leaked this story to them without vetting it or its complaining witness, and that’s a shame. I do think that any investigation into this investigation will exonerate Mr. Porzingis in totality.”
The NBA says they are aware of the situation, but have not commented further.
Stay with CBS New York for more on this developing story