Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was accused of sexual assault after allegedly groping a woman who asked to have her picture taken with Cuban. The pictures were taken in a Portland bar in 2011, after which Cuban was interviewed by police, though no charges were filed due to a lack of evidence.
This investigation came to light thanks to reporting from Nigel Jaquiss of Portland alt-weekly the Willamette Week, reporting that deserves a ton of credit for unearthing the incident from nearly seven years ago.
The woman told police she encountered Cuban in late April at the Barrel Room, at 105 NW 3rd Ave., and asked him to pose with her for a photograph. While they smiled for the camera, she claimed, he thrust his hand down the back of her jeans and penetrated her vagina with his finger.
The alleged assault—and a full transcript of Cuban’s response to the accusation—are detailed in a police report WW obtained via a public records request.
The allegation has never previously been reported. After an investigation, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office determined there was insufficient evidence to press criminal charges.
This report comes in the wake of a story detailing alleged sexual misconduct within Cuban’s Mavericks; though Cuban was never accused of misconduct as part of that investigation, it’s hard to imagine the pervasive culture of harrasment detailed in those complaints could have occurred without his knowledge.
Cuban also has a prominent role on ABC’s reality hit Shark Tank.
Jaquiss’ report contains a transcript of Cuban’s interview with Portland police detective Brendan McGuire, as well as descriptions of the photographs taken as evidence.
When she finally sat down for a full interview with a detective, more than two weeks after the alleged incident, the woman explained her reluctance, saying she hoped the report could remain confidential so there would be no publicity. She told police she did not want to be “labeled ‘that girl’ and involved in a sex scandal with Mark Cuban.”
The woman submitted seven cellphone images to police as evidence. (WW requested copies of the photos with the woman’s face obscured to protect her identity. The bureau withheld the photos, citing the personal privacy exemption of the state public records law.)
In one of his reports, Detective McGuire, a 22-year bureau veteran, described two of the photos as “significant.”
“In both images, Cuban’s right shoulder is lowered and he appears to be stretching to reach his arm down,” McGuire’s report says. “In one of the pictures, his arm can be seen behind [the alleged victim] and it appears Cuban is reaching down toward her buttocks.”
McGuire also noted the alleged victim’s expression: “Her teeth are clenched, eyes wider than the other pictures and brow raised showing a look of surprise and strain.”
Cuban, through an attorney, denied all of the charges. The accuser isn’t named out of privacy, but says that she still stands by her original accusation:
The woman, whom WW is not naming because she’s the alleged victim of sexual assault, agreed to a brief interview after WW obtained the police report and contacted her. She says she never contacted the media or sought publicity or compensation from Cuban and has put the incident behind her.
“I really left it in the past,” she says. “I haven’t thought about it for seven years.”
Now married and in her mid-30s, the woman works in the medical field and enjoys hiking with her yellow Lab. “I have a wonderful life,” she says. “I’m a happy person.”
But she’s sticking to her story.
“I filed the report because what he did was wrong,” she adds. “I stand behind that report 1,000 percent.”
It’s a report worth reading not only for the police interview, which is shockingly candid; Cuban’s decision to speak to the police without an attorney is amazing, given his standing. But it’s also worth reading to note how difficult it is to bring charges in assault cases like this.