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Chris 'Birdman' Andersen cleared in child porn case, was a victim

The Miami Heat star will not be charged in a child pornography probe after authorities concluded he had been the victim of an Internet hoax.
Posted By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com   |   Sept. 19, 2013 at 12:58 PM  |  Updated Sept. 20, 2013 at 10:43 AM   |   Comments

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Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Miami Heat star Chris "Birdman" Andersen has been cleared in a child pornography investigation after authorities determined the basketball star had been the victim of a complex Internet hoax.

Andersen, 35, was probed last year after a Canadian woman reportedly posed as the Birdman to communicate with underage girls, his attorney, Mark Bryant said.

Authorities have confirmed that Shelly Lynn Chartier, 29, posed as Anderson while talking to the minors and other people.

“Based on the information that we have been able to obtain and analyze, we are not pursuing charges against Chris Andersen,” said Lisa Pinto, a spokeswoman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Pinto added that further details will be revealed in the near future.

Chartier was booked in January over a list of charges that included possession and transmission of child pornography, impersonation, extortion and making threats, said Sgt. Line Karpish, a spokeswoman with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

She also faces charges in Colorado.

Authorities began investigating Andersen after a teenage woman contacted them claiming the basketball player had sex with her in his Colorado home and later lost interest in their relationship. She told authorities the player threatened to release obscene pictures of her that were taken before she was 18.

At the same time, Andersen received a letter, reportedly from the girl's parents, asking him for money.

It was later revealed that Chartier was behind both the threat and the extortion attempt.

Andersen, who at the time was playing for the Denver Nuggets, was never arrested but was eventually released from the team. He later signed with the Miami Heat.

“We are not surprised that this is the end result,” the Heat said in a statement. “We are happy for Chris and glad this unfortunate incident is behind him.”

Bryant called Andersen "a victim" and said the investigation tarnished his image and kept him from making any appearances at children's charities.

“It had an extraordinary effect upon Chris,” he told the Denver Post. “To this day, Chris is so disturbed because some of the public opinion was just brutal.”

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