Woman claims former Suns player Kevin Johnson molested her
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A woman who says she was molested by former Phoenix Suns basketball player Kevin Johnson went public after maintaining her silence for almost 20 years.
Amanda Koba, who is in her 30s, now lives in Virginia. She says in 1996, when she was 15-years-old, she was fondled by the Suns superstar at his home.
Johnson is currently the Mayor of Sacramento, California.
Koba was quoted in an article on DeadSpin.com. According to the article, Koba was a student at Arcadia High School when she met Johnson at a video shoot for a TV public service announcement about gun violence. She was working part-time for the Phoenix Department of Parks and Recreation and Johnson was the star of the P.S.A.
Koba says Johnson befriended her family and gradually, she spent more time with him.
According to the police report, at Johnson's home, Koba said they were watching television when he molested her then swore her to silence.
FOX 10 reached out to Mayor Johnson at his office in Sacramento and this is the response we received:
A spokesperson stated, "These allegations are two decades old. They were thoroughly investigated and rejected by law enforcement and reported in the media. They weren't true then and they aren't true now. Period."
Johnson was never prosecuted. According to the article, Koba later signed an agreement for $230,000 to buy her silence. However, she has now come forward and says she's comfortable with speaking out.
Koba has a blog at MandiKoba.com and says she is active in helping other people who say they are abuse victims to come forward.
Johnson was never prosecuted. Koba later signed an agreement for $230,000 to buy her silence. However, she has now come forward and says she's comfortable with speaking out.
Although the allegations are not new, this is the first time the alleged victim is really speaking about what she says happened. As is the case in many sexual assaults, it can be very tough for victims to come forward.
"It seems like she's just not going to allow herself to be intimidated anymore," said Allie Bones, CEO of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.
Bones says the things Koba claims Johnson did were characteristics of grooming, such as giving her a pet name, reading the Bible and praying with her.
"It definitely seems like he was trying to create an atmosphere where she was trusting him, where they had a relationship in where he could take her, you know her mom obviously let her go with him."
Koba said in the article a staffer told her the reason not to prosecute was because of a lack of evidence and who Johnson was.
Bones says victims usually have a hard time coming forward when it's against someone of power.
"They fear that they aren't going to be believed, they fear that they are going to go through character assassination, or interrogation about who they are, what was their motivation."
Bones says because of people like Koba, things are changing.
"Because of today's environment and society and the way we talk about these issues, I think there is a lot less tollerance and a lot less willingness from the public to forgive."