Sacramento Kings coach named in sportscaster's sex assault lawsuit

Sacramento Kings coach named in sportscaster's sex assault lawsuit

Santa Monica police said Tuesday that officials never received a report accusing former Lakers coach Luke Walton of sexual assault, and they are not now investigating allegations made by a sports reporter.

According to Kelli Tennant - a former reporter for the Los Angeles-based network Spectrum SportsNet - the alleged incident occurred in 2016 in a Santa Monica Hotel.

According to TMZ, the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press, Tennant says in the lawsuit that Walton had been a mentor to her and that she knew his wife because both were college volleyball players.

Since news of the lawsuit broke, Ms Tennant, a former volleyball player for the University of Southern California, had her Instagram page flooded with comments, many of them abusive.

According to RAINN, only 230 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police.

His lawyer, Mark Baute responded: "Luke Walton retained me to defend him against these baseless allegations".

She also knew Mr Walton's wife, according to USA media.

In a statement released Tuesday, NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said the league is "coordinating with the Kings organization" and is "in the process of gathering more information". "We'll have no further comment at this time".

Though no date for the incident was specified, the suit states it happened after Tennant's book - for which Walton wrote a foreword - was released in 2014.

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Luke Walton and the Los Angeles Lakers had a tumultuous relationship this year, especially with the addition of LeBron James to the roster.

The Lakers also issued a statement, saying they were previously unaware of the reporter's allegations.

Once inside the suite, the legal action says that Mr Walton "pinned Ms Tennant on the bed, placing his hips and legs over her body", before groping her chest and groin, according to U.S. media who have reviewed the court documents. He and the Lakers parted ways April 12 and Walton was announced as the head coach of the Kings two days later. He allegedly tried to force kisses on her neck, face and chest. "Since Luke Walton is now under contract to another team, we will have no further comment".

The article goes into further detail, alleging that Walton went on to grope her breasts and groin before leaving the room.

"Like many survivors of sexual assault, and abuse, Ms. Tennant for the most part suffered silently", the lawsuit said.

Tennant left her job shortly thereafter and has not returned to TV work.

"In these instances, Defendant Walton made implied threats of additional physical assaults and other harm by his continued conduct", the lawsuit says.

Tennant claims that on a separate occasion, Walton gave an aggressive hug and rubbed his body against hers.

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