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7 Face Trial in Beating Allegedly Linked to Shaquille ONeal Sex Tape

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    7 Face Trial in Beating Allegedly Linked to Shaquille ONeal Sex Tape
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    (26 Jun '12)


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on June 26, 2012 - 11:18pm

he retired NBA star denied any involvement and has not been charged June 16, 2011 LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Members of a Los Angeles street gang are facing charges in the 2008 beating of a man who claimed he had a sex tape of Shaquille ONeal and that the former NBA star was behind the attack. Sheriffs department re <a href=>Cheap Christian Audigier Coats</a> cords reviewed by the Los Angeles Times showed investigators probed allegations that ONeal was connected to the attack, but ONeal denied any involvement and has not been charged, the paper reported Wednesday. Also, ONeal is not named in the criminal complaint. Robert Ross reported being beaten in 2008 but details of the case only came to light publically this week in a preliminary hearing in which Ross testified against seven members of the Main Street Crips facing kidnapping, robbery and assault charges. According to sheriffs report, Ross told investigators he was kidnapped at gunpoint by Main Street Crips gang members in West Hollywood in February 2008 and taken to the home of the gangs alleged leader Ladell Rowles. He said the gang members beat him, stole $15,000 in cash and some jewelry. Ross said Rowles demanded the purported videotape of ONeal having sex with a woman other than his wife and $100,000, according to the sheriffs investigative report. Ross told investigators in 2008 that he believed ONeal was behind the attack because of a business deal gone bad and because ONeal believed he had the tape, the Times reported. Ross later told police he was bluffing about the tape. Detectives found phone records showing a flurry of calls between Rowles and ONeals business partner Mark Stevens around the time of the February 2008 incident, the sheriffs report said. ONeal and Stevens both denied any involvement in the attack when interviewed by sheriffs investigators in 2008, the Times said. Prosecutors said they have no evidence that a sex tape exists. In a July 2009 letter asking for leniency in Ross sentencing for unrelated federal drug and firearm charges, a sheriffs captain wrote that Ross was cooperating with law enforcement as a victim and witness in an incident that may implicate a celebrity, the Times reported. Attorney Nicholas Tonsich, who represented ONeal and Stevens, did not immediately respond to an Associated Press call for comment. ONeal retired this month after 19 seasons, several of them with the Los Angeles Lakers. Ross is expected to resume his testimony when the preliminary hearing continues in July.

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