NBA

More details emerge on Kristaps Porzingis rape allegations

More details have emerged about the rape accusations made against former Knicks’ star Kristaps Porzingis. The story just keeps getting more complicated.

Any NBA action this weekend was largely overshadowed by a rape complaint filed with the NYPD against former Knicks’ star Kristaps Porzingis. The complaint was filed Thursday and news of it broke in the New York Post on Friday evening. The alleged incident occurred over a year ago, on Feb. 7, 2018, just hours after Porzingis tore his ACL, an injury that has kept him off the court ever since.

The initial reporting put some baseline details in place — the alleged victim was an acquaintance of Porzingis’ who lived in the same apartment building and had been invited over by the star. The details of the alleged assault were horrific but the issue was at least partially complicated by the fact that the victim did not contact police for 13 months, and in the interim had discussed a $68,000 payment with Porzingis to keep the incident quiet. Discussions of that payment led to Porzingis’ representation reaching out to federal authorities with allegations of extortion, information that was passed along to both the NBA and the Knicks, who notified the Mavericks in advance of their Feb. 1, 2019 trade for Porzingis being completed.

On Monday morning, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported new details on the case, which almost certainly were relayed to him officially or unofficially by a source within in the Knicks organization. Wojnarowski’s reporting revealed that the alleged victim had contacted the Knicks this fall in an attempt to get the organization’s help in mediating payment of the $68,000 payment she said she and Porzingis had agreed to.

Among the other details revealed in this report:

  • Emails and text messages between the woman and Porzingis from after the alleged assault, “portray a woman who wanted to pursue a romantic relationship with Porzingis”
  • The woman produced a handwritten letter that, “she described as a contractual agreement with Porzingis for payment of $68,000 — a copy of which was obtained by ESPN — Porzingis’ name is misspelled and it is unclear whether the signature belongs to him.”
  • Porzingis’ legal team claim that the letter is a forgery and have asked for an original copy to perform handwriting analysis and prove this. They say the woman has declined to produce an original.

There is a lot to unpack here and there will almost certainly be more twists and turns in this case over the next few days and weeks. The details here will inevitably be used to call the woman’s accusations into question and her chip away at her credibility — especially since the Knicks, the NBA and the NBPA were all party to this information and hadn’t taken any action against Porzingis, and that the Mavericks felt comfortable trading for Porzingis, knowing at least some of these details.

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However, it’s important to note that nothing here actually precludes the fact that a sexual assault did occur in the way she described it. Rape and sexual assault do occur between intimate partners. Continued contact with an attacker, even intimate contact, does retroactively provide consent for a previous assault. And seeking recompense for an assault outside the criminal justice system, while distasteful to some, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

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