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Pirates infielder investigated in alleged sexual assault: police

Chicago Police are investigating a sexual assault allegation made by a 23-year-old Chicago woman who claims a Pittsburgh Pirates player violated her. | File photo

Chicago Police are investigating a sexual assault allegation made by a 23-year-old Chicago woman who claims a Pittsburgh Pirates player violated her after she passed out in his Gold Coast hotel room last month.

The Chicago Sun-Times is not naming the baseball player because he has not been charged with a crime.

The two met on Bumble, a location-based dating app in which only women are allowed to initiate conversations, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

The woman told investigators that the 29-year-old infielder invited her to his room at the Westin, 909 N. Michigan Ave., Guglielmi said.

She arrived at his room about 10 p.m. on June 17, hours after the Pirates lost a day game to the Cubs 6-0 at Wrigley Field.

She said the ballplayer served her an alcoholic drink and she passed out about 15 to 20 minutes later and went in and out of consciousness as he allegedly sexually assaulted her, Guglielmi said. She told police she did not fully regain consciousness until she was on her way home in a taxi, he said.

Two days later, the woman went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to have a rape kit performed. She filed a complaint with police 10 days after the alleged assault, Guglielmi said. He would not say whether detectives had interviewed the ballplayer.

“I don’t want to get into the level of specifics,” he said. “But we have been in contact with the team.”

“Detectives are reviewing video, conferring with the hospital and the important thing to note here is that the detectives are going to be very methodical,” Guglielmi said. “The allegations are very serious and we are going to make sure that our investigation matches the severity of these complaints.”

On Tuesday, Pirates President Frank Coonelly released this statement:

“We have been made aware of the allegation that has been made against [the player]. We take allegations of this type extremely seriously. Pursuant to the Joint MLB/MLBPA Policy on such matters, this matter is exclusively before the Commissioner’s Office at this time. We have and will continue to cooperate fully with the Commissioner’s Office. As a result of the ongoing police investigation, we can-not comment further at this time. We have also advised our staff and our players that they should not comment on the matter either. We all need to be respectful to the police investigation of a very serious allegation.”

A spokesman for the Pirates said the player’s status with the team was unchanged. The player was not in the Pirates’ lineup Tuesday night against the Cardinals in St. Louis, though he has played since the allegations surfaced.

Major League Baseball issued the following statement:

“We recently learned of the allegation against [the player]. Our understanding is that police in Chicago are investigating this very serious matter. Major League Baseball will monitor the progress of this investigation closely and will respond fully as additional facts emerge.”

The Cubs are scheduled to play the Pirates in Pittsburgh this weekend.