DALLAS - A new report from Sports Illustrated has detailed sexual assault allegations against a Dallas Mavericks executive who is still with the team.
The alleged victim, who was not identified, accused Tony Ronzone, the Mavericks’ director of player personnel, of forcing himself on her and groping her while he was off duty at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last July.
The Mavericks said in the report that they did an internal investigation after the victim emailed Mark Cuban in September, and they found the organization was not responsible for Ronzone’s behavior because he was off duty.
The Mavericks released a statement Wednesday that they take "all allegations of sexual assault extremely seriously," and are "appalled" at SI's story that included several facts that were "omitted, mischaracterized and reported inaccurately."
The statement also included a list of "inaccuracies, omissions and mischaracterizations," including: The Mavericks encouraged her to file a police report, but she never has, her story about the incident changed each time Maverick officials spoke with her, and the alleged victim's request for money have continued to get larger, as the Mavericks said she said she wanted something “big and life-changing.”
A lawyer for Ronzone denied the allegations, and described them as “meritless,” according to SI.
Mavericks CEO Cynthia Marshall reportedly told SI that the Mavericks investigated and found “there was no evidence presented of sexual assault.”
The victim said she told several people about what happened, including calling someone after it happened, but SI reported the Mavericks did not get the sworn statements from those people offered by the victim’s attorneys.
The release of those sworn statements were reportedly contingent on the team agreeing to a nondisclosure agreement, but a lawyer for the Mavericks reportedly said in a letter to SI that the victim’s lawyers “refused to provide those declarations to the Mavericks and to us unless certain conditions were agreed upon – conditions that went well beyond protecting the identity of the individuals who executed those affidavits or statements.”
The Mavericks had several employees speak with the victim, including one meeting in which the Mavericks allege she made a “significant” and “big and life changing” request for money.
The alleged victim denied that, and said during that meeting, she was asked, “What will it take to make this go away quietly?”
This comes after the Mavericks dealt with blowback from a 2018 investigation into the team’s toxic workplace environment, in which employees were accused of sexual harassment and other misconduct.