NBA: Derrick Rose unfazed by rape case as Los Angeles police confirm investigation

 New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose speaking to the media in White Plains, NY, on Sept 26, 2016.
New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose speaking to the media in White Plains, NY, on Sept 26, 2016. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

New York (AFP) - New York Knicks star Derrick Rose said he was unfazed by allegations of rape against him on Monday as police in Los Angeles confirmed an investigation into the claims was under way.

Rose is facing a civil trial in a Los Angeles court next week over the allegations by a woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by the player and two friends in 2015.

So far no criminal charges have been brought against Rose in connection with the claim. However a letter by the Los Angeles Police Department detective looking into the case published by ThinkProgress.org on Monday referenced the "criminal investigation being handled by the Los Angeles Police Department".

The letter was sent to one of Rose's attorneys by the detective in an attempt to clarify reports that Rose which stated Rose was not under investigation.

Rose, who has said the sex with the woman in the case was consensual, told reporters he was unconcerned by the upcoming civil trial.

"I'm not really worried about it," Rose said on Monday. "But if I do have to miss time, it's a part of it. Of course I don't want to be in this position. It is what it is. I'm going to let my lawyer team handle it."

Rose said he was unaware of the criminal investigation.

"I've handled it pretty good," Rose said. "I haven't really been thinking about it. I've been thinking about the team, how I'm going to gel as a team and getting used to the organisation. ... As far as the trial, it's something I can't think about. It's not true. I will be proven innocent.

"My concern is just playing well this year. I can't think about the case. I felt I didn't do anything wrong. I can't let that distract me with the year I have ahead of me.

"I just feel right now I have a big year ahead of me. The team I have, that's why I hired them to handle this case where they're out there doing a good job, handling everything and giving me time to focus on what I have to focus on. That's straight basketball."

Rose, 27, a former National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player with the Chicago Bulls, is preparing for his first season with the Knicks after one of the biggest trades in the offseason.

He averaged 16.4 points and 4.7 assists in 66 games for the Bulls last season.