Actor Rashid Byrd receives 90 years to life sentence after sexual assault convictions

Rashid Byrd

LOS ANGELES — Actor Rashid Byrd, who also played pro basketball, received a sentence of 90 years to life on Friday after his conviction for a series of violent sexual assaults.

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Byrd, 39, has been in custody since he was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department on Sept. 20, 2020. He was sentenced on Friday after he was found guilty of sexual assaults that occurred in Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties between 2015 to 2020, The Orange County Register reported.

The 7-foot, 1-inch Byrd played 22 games for the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League during the 2008-09 season, according to KCAL-TV. He also played for several professional teams in Europe, KTLA-TV reported.

According to IMDb.com, Byrd, who was born Rashid Byrd Hardwick, played a basketball player in the 2008 movie, “Semi-Pro,” which starred Will Ferrell and Woody Harrelson.

Byrd also appeared as a basketball player in the 2009 documentary, “Bring Your ‘A’ Game,” according to the movie and television database website. That film starred Mario Van Peebles, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Ice Cube.

Prosecutors alleged that while Byrd was “initially charming” to his victims, he subsequently forced them into several sexual acts, according to the Register.

“He started as a charmer, playing up his status as an athlete and pseudo-celebrity, but that quickly faded into rapes and violence,” LAPD Detective Dara Brown, the lead investigator on the case, said in a statement.

Police opened an investigation after a woman told authorities she had been sexually assaulted in 2019.

Detectives discovered that Byrd had been arrested for sexually assaulting a woman in Washington state in 2005, and had been convicted of sexual assault against a different victim five years later, the Register reported.

“The LAPD is grateful for the brave women who came forward to tell their stories,” Brown said in a statement. “While this investigation has gone on for years, we are thankful that Byrd is no longer on the streets.”

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