2:15pm: The Twins issued the following statement:
“Today the Minnesota Twins were made aware of allegations involving Miguel Sano at an offsite appearance during the 2015 season. The Twins, along with Major League Baseball, take these allegations very seriously. Until more information is gathered, the Twins will have no further comment.”
A short while later, Sano issued the following statement:
“I unequivocally deny the allegation made against me today — it never happened. I have the utmost respect for women, especially those working in professional sports, and I deeply sympathize with anyone who has experienced sexual harassment. There is no place for it in our society.”
12:53pm: Photographer Betsy Bissen has accused Twins third baseman Miguel Sano of assault, in a post on social media this morning. Bissen, a photographer who has covered Twins games and events, describes an incident in 2015 with Sano at an autograph signing. Bissen says Sano recognized her from Twins games she worked as a photographer. In her account, she describes how Sano flirted without reciprocation during the signing, and later “grabbed my wrist and made me go” with him, his agent, and her employer to an Apple Store. Bissen further describes the incident as follows:
“We spend around a half hour inside that store before it was time for him and his agent to leave. Their car was pulled around to a back hallway door. As we got outside, the athlete decided he needed to use the restroom. I asked my boss where it was and pointed to the door we just walked thru. Apparently I was too close, and the athlete took that as a signal that I wanted him to grab me and try to take me back thru that door.
I pulled back as he held onto my wrist. It hurt, how badly he was grasping at my wrist, but he wouldn’t let go. I wasn’t going to give up my fight though. He then leaned down and tried to kiss me, more than once. Every time he did, I said no and kept pulling back. I was in a squatted position with my wrist throbbing. I screamed, no one came to help me. He finally gave up after a solid ten mins of fighting to pull me thru that door. I don’t even want to think of what he may have done, had he got me thru that door. No, he didn’t rape me, but he sure did assault me. When I said no, it should have been the end of it. He should have respected that and stopped. Instead, he hurt me and kept going.
The next day, my body was sore all over from having to fight off this athlete that thought he was entitled to take advantage of me against my will.”
MLB and the players’ union agreed to a domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy in August 2015. It seems likely that MLB will investigate this incident, which could result in a suspension for Sano. It appears the Twins may just be learning about this incident. This year’s #metoo movement seems to have compelled Bissen to share her story publicly. I asked Bissen in a Twitter message whether she would cooperate with MLB if they contact her, and she replied, “If they do, I will cooperate. I honestly don’t want anything from this other than to feel free from what happened to me.”