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Woman sues Rockets’ equipment manager over alleged rape

November 29, 1997

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A Portland woman filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the Houston Rockets’ equipment manager, alleging he raped her at a Portland hotel 3 1/2 years ago when she was 17.

The lawsuit also names the Rockets as a defendant and seeks more than $75,000 in damages.

The lawsuit says David H. Nordstrom lured the woman to his hotel room with offers of free playoff tickets, then raped her.

Rockets spokeswoman Angela Blakeney said Nordstrom refused to comment on the advice of his attorney.

The Portland Police Bureau has no record of the alleged incident.

The woman said she and some of her friends met Nordstrom on April 16, 1994, at a Portland restaurant. She said Nordstrom introduced them to several Houston players, then gave her four tickets to the Rockets’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers that night.

When the Rockets returned to Portland for a May 2 playoff game, Nordstrom called the woman to give her two more tickets, the lawsuit said.

On May 5, he allegedly offered her more tickets and asked her to meet him in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel. Nordstrom said he had left something in his room and asked the woman to accompany him. When they arrived in his room, Nordstrom allegedly forced the woman onto the bed and raped her, the lawsuit stated.

The lawsuit says the Rocket organization was negligent in hiring Nordstrom and ``should have known″ he would use his job to ``lure″ the woman with complimentary tickets.

Nordstrom has been the team’s equipment manager for 21 years.

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