Clippers Rookie Accused of Rape
STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) _ Michael Olowokandi is accused of raping a woman three weeks before the Los Angeles Clippers made him the NBA’s No. 1 draft choice last year.
The former University of the Pacific student, identified only as ``Jane Doe,″ alleges in a civil lawsuit that Olowokandi forced her to have sex on June 5, 1998.
In a written statement, Olowokandi’s agent said the player fathered a child with the woman while the two were ``in a college relationship″ and that the baby has been placed in a ``loving, caring and well-screened home with adoptive parents.″
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, seeks in excess of $25,000 for mental and physical suffering from the alleged sexual assault, which was not reported to police.
``After the adoption and for the first time, the birth mother is now claiming that the relations with Mr. Olowokandi were not consensual,″ agent Bill Duffy said in the statement reported today by The Record of Stockton.
Duffy said the woman made a ``multimillion dollar″ payment demand of Olowokandi.
``This attack on Michael Olowokandi’s character is not being taken lightly,″ Duffy said. ``It will be handled in the proper legal forum, expeditiously and confidentially in order to protect the baby.″
The 21-year-old woman opted to file a civil suit against Olowokandi after discovering she was pregnant, said her lawyer, Stewart Tabak.
``She was going to let it go. She had had a very long, trusting friendship with Mr. Olowokandi, and she didn’t want these kinds of allegations to tarnish his future in the NBA,″ Tabak said. ``When she found out about the pregnancy, the situation changed.″
Tabak would only identify the woman as a recent Pacific graduate from Central California who is seeking work as an elementary school teacher.
The woman gave up the child for adoption shortly after the baby was born Feb. 28.
In adoption papers filed with the court, Olowokandi admitted being the child’s father, Tabak said. Olowokandi initially denied being the father until the mother consented to give up the baby, Tabak added.
Olowokandi enrolled at Pacific in 1995 after picking the school at random from a list of U.S. colleges. Raised in London as the son of a Nigerian ambassador, the 7-foot-1 center became the school’s first player to be chosen first in the NBA draft.