More than 24 hours after Chris "Birdman" Andersen's home was searched and property seized in an ongoing Internet crimes case against children, the Denver Nugget's legal team is suggesting he's the victim of extortion, The Denver Post and The Associated Press reported.
Douglas County (Colo.) Sheriff's Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) investigators seized property from Andersen's home in Larkspur, about 40 miles south of Denver, on Thursday.
But Colin Bresee, an attorney for Andersen, said in a statement that professional athletes are "routinely targeted," and that the media has speculated Andersen is a suspect rather than a victim.
In the statement, Bresee suggested that a woman from California has attempted to get items of value from the 33-year-old basketball player, and that the woman's mother wrote in an email that she wanted him "to pay for everything on her Amazon wish list, 5K for her bedding stuff and her victoria secret wish list."
Deputies did say they have been investigating Andersen since February 2012 on a referral from a California law-enforcement agency. The unit investigating Andersen covers child pornography, Internet luring and child predators.
"A female fan in 2010 mailed Mr. Andersen multiple letters and included several photos in which she was scantily clad. Chris and this woman communicated with each other and in 2011, this woman, who represented herself as 21 years of age, flew to Colorado, showing her required identification. After leaving Colorado, she became upset at his lack of interest. In 2012, she threatened to retaliate if he did not provide financial remuneration."
The statement ends, "Mr. Andersen has been fully cooperative with the authorities. The investigation is expected to take three weeks. We're confident it will show that Chris did not engage in any criminal conduct."