By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Aug 30, 2006 at 10:05 AM

Former National Basketball Association all-star and River Hills resident Latrell Sprewell is being investigated for battery and possible sexual assault, according to sources at the Milwaukee Police Department.

MPD spokesperson Anne E. Schwartz confirmed that Sprewell voluntarily appeared at Downtown police headquarters this morning with his attorneys, Steve Kohn and Jonathon Smith.

According to a police source, a 21-year-old female alleged that she and Sprewell were having consensual sex Tuesday aboard his yacht, "Milwaukee's Best," when Sprewell began to strangle her. Police allegedly observed red marks on the woman's neck.

Police are investigating the allegation and searched Sprewell’s yacht for evidence, but it is uncertain at this point whether charges will be filed. A Milwaukee defense attorney contacted by said that if the sexual contact was consensual up until the choking incident, Sprewell could be charged with battery. If there were threats made, however, he could face a charge of second-degree aggravated sexual assault.

"If the act was consensual, this could be a tough case (for police)," the defense attorney said.

Milwaukee police recently investigated a similar case involving Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Brian Shackelford. Shackelford was arrested on suspicion of third-degree sexual assault when a woman he met on claimed that he assaulted her after some consensual contact. The Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office decided not to press charges in the matter.

Sprewell, 36, attended Washington High School in Milwaukee, starred in college at Alabama and went on to be a marquee player in the NBA. Despite his success on the court, he is perhaps best known for his choking incident of then Golden State Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo during practice in 1997.

According to news accounts of the incident, Carlesimo criticized and then approached Sprewell, who threatened to kill him and then dragged him to the ground and choked him until teammates intervened. Sprewell was suspended 10 days without pay for the incident and the Warriors, facing intense pressure from fans and media, voided his contract.

Sprewell ended up sitting out the rest of that season and didn’t return to the NBA until January, 1999, when the Warriors traded him to the New York Knicks. Sprewell became a fan favorite at Madison Square Garden, and went on to play two seasons for Minnesota. He sat out last season because he refused to sign with a team for the minimum salary. There was talk that he’d sign with Dallas or San Antonio before the playoffs, but nothing materialized.