Johan Santana's rape accusor files a civil suit

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You’ll recall that, last fall, Johan Santana was accused of rape. You’ll also recall that the police investigated, found the accuser’s statements “to be inconsistent with that of other witnesses” and declined to file charges.  Now, predictably, Santana’s accuser has filed a civil suit in Florida.

According to the Daily News, the plaintiff claims that Santana “tore off her clothes” and “assaulted her even though she begged and pleaded with him to stop.”  She also claims that Santana impregnated her but that she subsequently had a miscarriage.

I’m not going delve into the . . .biology of all of this, but at least part of those claims seem inconsistent with the alleged victim’s statement in the police report. And at the very least there is some purple prose in the complaint compared to the way she described the events to police.  Of course, this is pretty routine when it comes to a civil complaint.

As most of you know, there is a difference in burden of proof between a civil case and a criminal one, so it is legally possible that evidence which would not support a finding of criminal guilt beyond a reasonable doubt could support a finding of civil liability to a preponderance of the evidence. But it’s also the case that if a prosecutor didn’t even bother trying to indict a guy that there was way, way less evidence available than one usually sees in such a case. Because, after all, the indictment standard is less than the standard required to convict someone.

Like I said when we first discussed this, none of us really knows what happened, and one makes broad, conclusory statements about alleged sexual assaults at one’s peril.  But based on what we know, however, there doesn’t appear to be a ton of legal merit to this complaint, and my guess is that it goes away fairly quickly and fairly quietly.

Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.