Ex-NBA player pleads not guilty to sexual abuse charges

rick-brunson-bullsFormer NBA player Rick Brunson has pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse charges, AP reported.

He faces charges of sexual abuse, attempted sexual assault, domestic battery and battery in connection with an alleged encounter with an employee at a suburban Chicago fitness center.

His attorney, Dennis Berkson, says the former player will ”vigorously fight” the charges and be found innocent. A hearing is scheduled Sept. 9 and a trial is scheduled Oct. 27.

According to a July 2014-released police report, Brunson used the name of Patrick Ewing (with whom he played in NY) to book an appointment with a massage therapist who he allegedly attempted to sexually assault at a Vernon Hills fitness center.

The employee at the fitness center had notified Brunson that she would stop giving him massages in 2013, due to a undisclosed prior problem with him. Brunson, 42, was arrested June 25 in connection with the latest incident, according to the police report.

He had formerly booked massages with the alleged victim 10-20 times over a three-year period “always using his name,” the police report stated.

On April 2, “she was surprised to see Brunson when she walked into the massage room since the name in the appointment book was not Brunson’s but listed as Patrick Ewing.”

Brunson played 9 seasons in the NBA, for Portland TrailBlazers, NY Knicks, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics and Houston Rockets. He played in total 337 NBA games (starting in 51), averaging 3.2 ppg and 2.6 apg in 13.5 mpg.

He’s been an assistant coach for college and pro teams, including the Bulls and Charlotte Bobcats.


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