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Sacramento, NBA to conduct joint investigation into sexual assault allegations against Luke Walton

Luke Walton, Kings, NBA

The NBA, along with the Sacramento Kings will conduct a joint investigation into the sexual assault allegations made against newly-signed head coach Luke Walton, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Walton, 39, is being accused of sexually assaulting former TV reporter Kelli Tennant, which the suit alleges started during his time as an assistant for the Golden State Warriors.

The Kings have hired Sue Ann Van Dermyden, founding partner of Sacramento law firm, Van Dermyden Maddux, who offers extensive experience with employment law and decades more of conducting investigations. The franchise also hired Jennifer Doughty, a veteran investigator and senior associate attorney at the same firm.

The NBA assigned one of its top attorneys to assist in the investigation. Elizabeth Maringer, another well-regarded attorney, which only guarantees the league is in serious pursuit of the truth.

Tennant worked with Walton at Time Warner Cable (now known as Spectrum SportsNet) before he joined the Warriors bench as an assistant, claiming the assault took place during a Golden State visit to Los Angeles, in which she visited him to give him a copy of her book, to which he had written the foreword.

Tennant said she was too fearful of coming forward until now.

“When someone assaults you and you think you are going to be raped, coming forward is a scary thing,” she told reporters.

Walton and his lawyer, Mark Baute, have denied the allegations.

“These claims are false and Luke’s innocence will be proven in court,” Baute said. “(Tuesday’s) press conference was a poorly staged attempt to portray the accuser as a viable spokesperson for an important movement. Her lawyers want to create a public circus to distract from their complete lack of evidence to support their outrageous claims. We will not try this case in the media or pay them a dime.”

It’s worthy to note that Baute is the same lawyer who once represented Minnesota Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose in his own sexual assault trial.