An attorney for NBA player Chris Andersen said Wednesday that his client was a victim of a complex Internet impersonation hoax when his Colorado home was searched by police last year in an apparent child pornography investigation.
Mark Bryant told The Denver Post that Andersen was being impersonated online by a woman in Canada who was also impersonating other people to Andersen.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have identified the woman as 29-year-old Shelly Lynn Chartier, of Easterville, Manitoba. She was charged in January with crimes of possession and transmitting of child pornography, personation, extortion and making threats after an investigation by the RCMP and the Douglas County (Colo.) Sheriff's Department.
In March 2012, Douglas County detectives searched Andersen's home in Larkspur, Colo. as part of an investigation by the department's Internet Crimes Against Children unit. At the time, Andersen, nicknamed "Birdman" after his distinctive tattoos, was playing for the nearby Denver Nuggets.
On Wednesday the sheriff's office told the Post that no charges would be filed against Andersen.
Bryant says that Chartier posed online as a California woman whom Andersen had met once in person when interacting with the NBA player. In turn, Chartier also posed as Anderson when chatting with the woman online.
At one point, the woman in Canada — posing as Andersen — threatened the woman in California with violence and with releasing lurid photos of the woman taken when she was under 18, Bryant told the paper.
Andersen, who won an NBA championship this past June with the Miami Heat, vehemently proclaimed his innocence in the matter. Bryant told the paper that Andersen hopes his reputation will have been rehabilitated so he can move on with his life.