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Chicago Daily Herald
By Lee Filas lfilas@dailyherald.com

Details in court and police documents allege former Chicago Bull Eric "Rick" Brunson inappropriately touched a massage therapist and tried to force her to perform oral sex at Lifetime Fitness in Vernon Hills.

Brunson, 42, of Vernon Hills was charged June 25 with felony counts of attempted criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse, and aggravated battery for his April 2 sexual advances on the massage therapist.

Brunson, who played and coached under the name of Rick Brunson, also faces three counts of domestic battery, a class A misdemeanor. If found guilty of all charges, he could be sentenced to 3 to 7 years in prison.

His attorney, Michael Zaslavsky of Chicago, declined to comment Wednesday.

According to NBA.com, Brunson played for seven teams in nine years, including two stints with the Bulls in 2002-03 and in 2003-04. He is also a former assistant coach with the Bulls, Denver Nuggets and Charlotte Bobcats, and is due to join the Temple University men's basketball staff as an assistant coach in 2014, csnphilly.com reported June 25.

According to a redacted Vernon Hills police report, the attack occurred after Brunson surprised the victim when he showed up for an April 2 massage appointment made using the fictitious name of NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. She found Brunson undressed in her massage room at the health center at 7 p.m. The woman had told Brunson in 2013 that she refused to massage him in the future, the report said.

Brunson told fitness club investigators he has been booking massage appointments under fictitious names since his playing days.

Despite the deception, the victim "reluctantly agreed to massage him," the police report states, since he was "already there."

In the massage room, Brunson grabbed the victim's head and attempted to force her to perform oral sex, placed his mouth over the victim's breast, and made contact of an insulting or provoking nature, according to court documents.

After the attack, the victim told a friend, who told fitness center management, the police report reads.

Brunson's membership at the center was revoked April 9, the police report states, and police were notified. After the membership revocation, Brunson attempted to contact the victim, the police report states. The victim did not answer the phone calls or text messages until she threatened to obtain a restraining order, the report states.

Police have collected some articles of clothing that are being tested for DNA evidence and they have videotape of Brunson arriving at the fitness center before the attack, the police report states.

He is free after posting the required $5,000 of his $50,000 bond and is due back in court July 10 for a preliminary hearing.

RELATED: Man Accused of Sexual Assault at Planet Fitness

July 10, 2014
 
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