Dodgers secretly harbored player accused of sexual assault

A Los Angeles Dodgers minor leaguer who allegedly sexually assaulted a maid at an Arizona hotel in 2015 was sent back to Latin America before being cut three months later — only to be picked up by another team.

The unidentified player, who signed with another MLB team a month later before being released again, was never charged with a crime, but a team official wrote in an internal email obtained by The Daily Beast that he should consider himself “extremely lucky” that wasn’t the case.

“[He] crossed a line and is extremely lucky he isn’t in jail,” Roman Barinas, the Dodgers’ manager of international scouting, wrote in an email.

The team, according to the Dodgers’ manager of Arizona operations, conducted an investigation of the alleged incident at a Hampton Inn in Glendale, interviewing both the player and the housekeeper.

“[The player] said he didn’t do it,” the team official, Juan Rodriguez, told The Daily Beast. “She said he did.”

In an email to the team, the hotel’s manager detailed an “unacceptable” situation in which the minor league player had been harassing a hotel housekeeper “for weeks,” repeatedly asking her to go out with him.

“She keeps telling him that she has a boyfriend and is not interested but he still keeps making comments,” the hotel manager wrote, adding that the athlete simply wasn’t taking no for an answer.

Then “things elevated,” according to the manager, when the minor leaguer “came up behind her and grabbed her” as she was cleaning another room.

“She pushed him back and he came back and he grabbed her yet again,” the hotel manager’s email continued. “She told him that she wasn’t interested and that he needed to leave and he did.”

The player — who was not identified by The Daily Beast because he was not charged with a crime — stayed connected to the team in some capacity for another three months. He was then officially released, according to MLB records cited by the website, before signing a minor league contract with another team. He then played in an unspecified number of minor league games before being let go again.

But there’s no record that the Dodgers ever notified league officials about the allegations, and team officials declined to discuss the matter.

“Personnel matters are addressed promptly at the time they are reported to the organization, and we do not comment publicly on such matters,” the club said in a statement.

The incident “appears to highlight a gap” in how MLB officials handle sexual assault allegations across the league, specifically when an accused player gets punished by one team before being signed by another, according to The Daily Beast.

MLB officials declined to indicate whether the league mandates teams notify MLB about allegations of sexual misconduct on behalf of minor leaguers or whether they were aware of the accusations from the Arizona hotel.

“This was handled as an internal matter by the Dodgers and we consider the matter closed,” league officials said in a statement.

The accused player could not be reached for comment, and his former agent did not return messages seeking comment. The housekeeper, meanwhile, was not identified in team emails and was not interviewed by The Daily Beast.

But other team officials said the allegations, as told to them by the hotel manager, made them “feel embarrassed” for the organization.

“I assured him that we’d address the situation swiftly and that this would not be an issue going forward,” wrote Gabe Kapler, the team’s then-head of player development who now manages the Philadelphia Phillies.

In response, Barinas said shipping the player to a post-season development program called AZ Instructs would be a “privilege,” emails show.

“His actions just show us that he doesn’t yet deserve that privilege,” Barinas wrote. “I suggest we have him report to [Dominican Republic] Instructs to learn more about what we stand for as an organization in an environment more suitable to his maturity level and understanding of American culture. This is my initial reaction, I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.”

Rodriguez told The Daily Beast that the allegation was taken “pretty seriously” and said he believed the player was suspended.

“He was asked to go home,” he told the website.

The housekeeper, meanwhile, asked that no police report be filed in connection to the incident, according to one source close to the matter. And a search of police records, according to The Daily Beast, revealed no reports of sexual assault at the hotel address in 2015.