Houston Rockets player pleads not guilty to assaulting, strangling girlfriend in NYC hotel

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Tuesday, September 12, 2023
NBA player pleads not guilty to assaulting, strangling girlfriend
Doctors say the victim suffered a fractured vertebrae in her neck.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- NBA player Kevin Porter Jr. pleaded not guilty Tuesday to assaulting his girlfriend after he was arrested in Manhattan on Monday.

The Houston Rockets guard was released on $75,000 cash bail. The judge imposed a temporary order of protection.

Porter, 23, is charged with assault and strangulation. According to the criminal complaint, the 26-year-old girlfriend told police Porter struck her "repeatedly about the face with a closed fist, causing a laceration above her right eye and bruising and substantial pain to her face."

The woman said Porter applied "pressure to her neck by forcefully squeezing it, causing her to experience difficulty breathing, redness and bruising to her neck, and substantial pain," the complaint said.

She was taken NYU Langone Medical Center where doctors said she suffered a fractured vertebrae in her neck.

Sources say the victim is a former WNBA player.

Porter had signed a sizable contract worth over $15 million next season with the Rockets despite the fact he had a history of trouble.

Porter was previously arrested in November 2020 in Ohio on a weapons charge, but a grand jury declined to indict him. However, the Cleveland Cavaliers made him inactive for the first half of the season and he was traded to Houston in January 2021.

The Houston Rockets said they are looking into the investigation, but at this point had no further comment.

Porter is due back in court October 16.

(ABC News contributed to this report.)

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