Patterson charged with attempted rape

Seattle SuperSonics forward Ruben Patterson was charged Tuesday with trying to rape the family's nanny.

John Wolfe, Patterson's lawyer, said the player planned to enter a plea Friday in which a defendant does not admit guilt, but agrees there may be sufficient evidence for a jury to convict him.

Prosecutor Norm Maleng said Patterson, 25, attempted to engage in sexual intercourse with the 24-year-old nanny at Patterson's home in Bellevue on Sept. 25.

The nanny was not identified.

Patterson, free on his own recognizance, was ordered to have no contact with the nanny or other witnesses.

The maximum punishment for attempted third-degree rape, a gross misdemeanour, is one year in jail and a $5,000 fine, said Maleng's spokesman, Dan Donohoe.

Patterson, who averaged 13.1 points and five rebounds this season, will be a restricted free agent this summer.

In February, Patterson was suspended by the NBA for three games because of his conviction on an assault charge for breaking a man's jaw in Cleveland, his hometown.

Patterson pleaded guilty in late January to a misdemeanour assault charge and was placed on probation.

Patterson was sentenced to six months in jail, but judge David Matia suspended the term and placed him on probation for six months.

Patterson also was fined $1,000 and ordered to provide 80 hours of community service.