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Report: Ex-Duke star Maggette named in rape investigation

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Report: Ex-Duke star Maggette named in rape investigation

Amid a Duke University investigation into a rape accusation leveled against a former Blue Devils basketball player, the accuser reportedly told friends that former star Corey Maggette was the one who committed the sexual assault in 1999.

FILE PHOTO – Charlotte Bobcats’ Corey Maggette passes the ball while playing against Toronto Raptors during their NBA basketball game in Charlotte, North Carolina March 17, 2012. REUTERS/John Adkisson

According to a New York Times report on Monday, Meredith Watson separately told two friends that Maggette was the previously unnamed Duke player who raped her two decades earlier. Watson, in a statement released Friday by her attorney, did not name the player she said raped her 20 years ago.

Maggette, who played just one season at Duke in 1998-99 before a 14-year NBA career that ended in 2013, issued a denial through a spokesman Monday evening.

“It has only been through media accounts and a statement from Meredith Watson’s lawyer that I first learned or heard of anything about these sexual assault allegations,” Maggette said, per the statement. “I have never sexually assaulted anyone in my life and I completely and categorically deny any such charge.”

Maggette currently works as an analyst during Los Angeles Clippers broadcasts for Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket. A Fox Sports West spokeswoman emailed a statement to the Times that said, “Fox Sports takes allegations of misconduct seriously, and we are looking into the matter. We have no further comment at this time.”

Watson’s attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, issued a statement on Friday that said, in part, that Watson originally reported the alleged rape while in school and “went to the dean, who provided no help and discouraged her from pursuing the claim further.” That statement did not name any specific former Duke player.

The Times report cited R. Stanton Jones, a law firm partner in Washington and an apparent childhood friend of Watson growing up in Baltimore, who told the newspaper that Watson had told him in the summer of 2001 that then-Duke player Maggette had raped her. According to the report, Jones chose to speak up now, saying it “seemed like the right thing to do.”

The Times also reported that a spokeswoman for Watson’s attorney shared a Facebook message from March 2017 between the alleged victim and a friend, with the message also accusing Maggette of raping Watson while the two were attending Duke.

Duke athletic director Kevin White addressed the allegation, one that longtime head coach Mike Krzyzewski said he wasn’t aware of until just days ago, in a statement released Saturday.

“Duke first learned of the allegations involving a student-athlete last night when they were reported by the media,” White said in the statement. “Coach Krzyzewski confirms that he had no knowledge of the alleged conduct from 1999.

“The university is looking into the matter and will have no further comment at this time.”

Krzyzewski was asked about the situation after his No. 2 Blue Devils defeated No. 3 Virginia 81-71 on Saturday night.

“I think there was an allegation made, right?” Krzyzewski said. “So, I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but there is an allegation. I did not find out about until late last night. I had no knowledge. … Our university will take care of whatever actions and give whatever information that is needed.”

Watson is also the second woman to accuse Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault. Watson and Fairfax attended Duke together in 2000.

—Field Level Media

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Reports: Bears to cut K Parkey in March

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Reports: Bears to cut K Parkey in March

After a difficult season culminated by a crucial missed field goal on a potential game-winning field goal in the NFC playoffs, kicker Cody Parkey will be released by the Chicago Bears when the new league year begins in March.

FILE PHOTO: Sep 17, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey (1) watches his field goal during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

According to multiple reports on Friday, the team intends to cut ties with Parkey once the NFL free agency period begins on March 13.

Parkey, who turned 27 on Tuesday, endured an inconsistent season in Chicago after inking a four-year, $15 million contract last winter following the team’s release of Robbie Gould, the Bears’ all-time leading scorer who moved on to the San Francisco 49ers.

Parkey, a five-year veteran, not only missed a career-high seven field-goal attempts and three extra points during the regular season, but his 43-yard attempt in the final seconds of the NFC wild-card round against the Philadelphia Eagles first hit the upright then the crossbar before bouncing back on the field.

Despite the NFL later ruling that the kick was partially blocked, Parkey took much of the public blame for the Bears’ season ending.

Parkey began his career with the Eagles in 2014 when he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, scoring a franchise-record 150 points while making 32 of 36 field-goal tries. In two seasons with the Eagles, Parkey never missed an extra point.

Parkey later kicked for the Cleveland Browns in 2016 and Miami Dolphins in 2017.

In January, the Bears signed Tulsa product Redford Jones after conducting a workout that reportedly included multiple hopefuls. Jones made 50 of his 67 field-goal attempts at Tulsa from 2015-17, and he does have a kick on his resume where he hit both uprights. Unlike Parkey’s double-doink, though, that 2016 attempt against Cincinnati ended up going over the crossbar for three points.

“We need more production out of that position,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said last month after signing Jones. “We know we need to get better there, and it will be an area of focus.”

—Field Level Media

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WTA roundup: Bencic upsets Svitolina to reach Dubai final

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WTA roundup: Bencic upsets Svitolina to reach Dubai final

Belinda Bencic secured a spot in the final by stunning two-time champion Elina Svitolina 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3) on Friday at the Dubai Duty Free Championships in the United Arab Emirates.

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Dubai Tennis Championships – Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – February 22, 2019 Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in action during the Semi Final against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina REUTERS/Satish Kumar

Bencic trailed 5-3 in the final set before recovering to defeat the sixth-seeded Svitolina. She will face second-seeded Petra Kvitova in the championship match after the Czech Republic star defeated Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

“I think I’m always the most proud of how I fight,” Bencic said after posting the victory. “Even when I lose, I learned myself to just look in the mirror and be proud of myself when I’m fighting, when I’m giving my all, when I’m trying to do what I have to do.”

Bencic won eight consecutive points after Svitolina was in position to close out the match. Then the Switzerland native carried the momentum into the tiebreaker to notch one of the biggest victories of her career by outdueling the Ukrainian.

“Basically, I stayed in the zone, even in (the) tiebreak,” Bencic said. “I was barely breathing, just playing automatic. You are not thinking any more. It’s where the instincts just guide you through it.”

Bencic will be seeking her third career title when she squares off with Kvitova, who will be shooting for her 27th.

Kvitova dropped the first set on Friday before recovering to win the last two.

“It was a tough one today, for sure,” Kvitova said. “She really didn’t give me anything for free. It was a tough first set. I’m glad that I was able to came back in the second. I didn’t play great at the end of the first.

“I think I’m pleased with my kind of mental focus after losing the first set, that I was calmer when I came back and played from the beginning of the second set. I still kind of felt that I can do that somehow. I don’t know. It was something weird.”

Kvitova overcame eight double faults to claim the victory.

Hungarian Ladies Open

Top-seeded Alison Van Uytvanck defeated Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals in Budapest.

Van Uytvanck, of Belgium, will face fifth-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova in the semis. The Russian dispatched third-seeded Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier 6-3, 6-2.

Eighth-seeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic will face Russian Anastasia Potapova in the other semi. Vondrousova outlasted Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 while the 17-year-old Potapova fought past Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-5 in 2 hours, 50 minutes.

—Field Level Media

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft facing charges of solicitation of prostitution

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft facing charges of solicitation of prostitution

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is facing charges of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution after he was twice videotaped paying for a sex act at an illicit massage parlor, police in Florida said Friday.

The 77-year-old Kraft was one of 25 people involved in the alleged solicitation at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter.

Michael Edmondson, spokesman for the state attorney’s office in Palm Beach County, told ESPN that the nature of any charges that the 25 people face will not be released until next week.

Kraft has denied wrongdoing.

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