The Daily Beast reports this morning that, in 2015, a Dodgers minor leaguer who was assigned to the Arizona Instructional League sexually assaulted a hotel maid. The article raises questions as to how the Dodgers subsequently handled the matter given that the player was soon signed by another team.
According to the report, the player had been harassing the maid, making inappropriate comments to her and asking her out on a date despite her clearly signaling that she was not interested. This went on for some time until, eventually, he grabbed the maid from behind, she pushed him off and he grabbed her again. He eventually relented and the maid reported the incident to hotel staff.
According to internal emails, the Dodgers investigated the incident and, by all indications, believed the maid’s account. High-ranking officials were in the loop, including then-head of player development Gabe Kapler who said in an email that he was “embarrassed for our organization.” Another Dodgers official said that the player was lucky not to be in jail. The police were not called, it seems, as the maid did not wish to alert authorities.
There was not, however, any suggestion that the Dodgers notified Major League Baseball about the incident. Rather, they handled the matter internally, taking the player out of Arizona and assigning him to the Dominican Republic developmental league. A couple of months later the Dodgers released him, but he was soon signed by another organization, presumably one with no knowledge of his history. The player’s identity was not reported by the Daily Beast as he was not charged with a crime.
As the Daily Beast notes, the fact that the alleged perpetrator was punished by one team but allowed to play for another soon after without either the other team or the league knowing about it reveals a gap in how MLB handles allegations of sexual assault across the league. For its part, MLB said it “considers the matter closed.”
One would think that, in light of this report, MLB would do better than that and would, instead, explain why a team was allowed to keep such a serious matter quiet and why teams are not required to alert the league of such incidents.