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Former LA pro basketball player sentenced to 90 years for sexual assault

CBS News Live
CBS News Los Angeles Live

Former professional basketball player Rashid Byrd has been sentenced to 90 years to life in state prison for a series of violent sexual assaults spanning a five-year period in Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties.

Byrd has been in police custody since his arrest by the Los Angeles Police Department for sexual assault on Sept. 20, 2020, and was sentenced Friday.

An LAPD investigation began after a victim came forward to report that she had been sexually assaulted by Byrd in 2019.

During the police investigation, detectives discovered Byrd had been arrested for sexually assaulting a young woman in the state of Washington in 2005 and had been convicted of a sexual assault involving a different victim in 2010.

According to Byrd's victims, he initially came across as charming, but then eventually forced them into a variety of sex acts.

"He started as a charmer, playing up his status as an athlete and pseudo-celebrity, but that quickly faded into rapes and violence," said Detective Dara Brown, the lead investigator on the case.

 "The LAPD is grateful for the brave women who came forward to tell their stories," Brown added. "While this investigation has gone on for years, we are thankful that Byrd is no longer on the streets."

The 7-foot-1 inch Byrd played 22 games for the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League in the 2008-09 season.

He appeared in the 2008 Will Ferrell-starring basketball comedy "Semi Pro," playing a member of the fictional American Basketball Association team, the Flint Tropics.

Brown said the LAPD attempted to locate all of Byrd's victims and asked that anyone with information regarding his crimes contact her at 213-486-6840 or email RHDTIPLINE@LAPD.ONLINE.

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