Nets’ Blatche questioned in police investigation of alleged sexual assault
By Ben Golliver
Nets forward/center Andray Blatche was reportedly taken into custody and questioned by Philadelphia Police with regard to an alleged sexual assault early Tuesday morning.
NBCPhiladelphia.com reports that Blatche was one of three men questioned by police.
Police tell NBC10 that a 21-year-old woman was taken from the Four Seasons Hotel on 18th and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to a local hospital just before 4 a.m. The woman told police she was sexually assaulted by someone inside the hotel, according to investigators.
Blatche, as well as a 41-year-old man and a 25-year-old man were all taken into custody for questioning, according to investigators.
The New York Times reported that Philadelphia Police said Tuesday that Blatche was “questioned and released and will not be charged.”
“From all accounts, he was not personally involved in any kind of assault or anything like that,” Police commissioner Charles Ramsey said, according to the Times.
Blatche appeared to confirm his role in the investigation on his verified @drayblatche Twitter account.
The Nets confirmed in a statement Tuesday morning that an unnamed player was involved in a police investigation but that all players were expected to be available for a Tuesday night game against the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center.
“We are aware of the ongoing police investigation regarding a member of the Brooklyn Nets,” GM Billy King said in a statement. “We will have no further comment until the investigation has concluded. All of our players are available for tonight’s game.”
Blatche, 26, signed a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Nets in September after the Wizards decided to release him with their amnesty clause, swallowing $23 million of future salary in the process. Blatche’s time in Washington included an arrest for soliciting a prostitute, an incident in which he traded punches with a teammate, spats with coaches and an infamous “Lapdance Tuesday” promotion. Blatche was shut down for most of the 2011-12 season because of conditioning issues and he spent the summer working out with John Lucas in hopes of resurrecting his career. Blatche has admitted that he initially did not receive any interest around the league when he cleared the amnesty waiver process and he said in August that he was willing to take any professional job, even the D-League.
The Nets, looking to fill out their frontline on the cheap, eventually came calling and Blatche has represented good value for the price, averaging 11.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 20.6 minutes per game for the Nets. He was selected as The Point Forward’s “Most Improved” candidate for the first quarter of the 2012-13 season. Back in November, he had harsh words for the Wizards organization, saying that they spread a “bunch of lies” about him and that they “tried to end me.”