Betsy Bissen, a professional photographer who has covered the Minnesota Twins at Target Field, has alleged that the team’s third baseman Miguel Sano assaulted her following an autograph signing at a store during the 2015 season.
“No, he didn’t rape me, but he sure did assault me,” she wrote. “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 Twins have announced that the organization has been made aware of the allegations. Major League Baseball said it is investigating the incident.
Bissen, who has worked for Twins Daily, said she shot as a photographer by the Twins dugout during games, and posted a letter on Twitter to outline her allegation in a #metoo post.
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Bissen stated that Sano wanted to go to a nearby Apple store after a signing at a store that she volunteered at, and that Sano told her that he recognized her from games during the autograph session.
She said he flirted with her during the session, and that she did not reciprocate. When Sano wanted to go to the Apple store, he grabbed her wrist and she said she did not want “to cause a scene,” so she went along with him and his agent.
When Sano, 24, was leaving the mall a half hour later, Bissen said Sano asked where the bathroom was. Bissen pointed to the bathroom, and Sano, who is 6-foot-4 and weighs 262 pounds, allegedly tried to force her to join him.
“I pulled back as he held onto my wrist,” Bissen wrote. “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.
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“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.
“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.”
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Sano has three years experience with the Twins. He hit .264 and collected 24 home runs last season.
Sano denied the allegations in a statement given to TMZ.
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“I unequivocally deny the allegation made against me today — it never happened,” Sano told the gossip website.
“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.”
Bissen stated that she was “sore all over” the next day “from fighting off this athlete that thought he was entitled to take advantage of me against my will.”
She also noted the sexual harassment she allegedly endured while covering the Twins “started off with the first base coach hitting on me almost every game I was at.” She noted that he was a married man who was about 20 years her elder.
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“Today the Minnesota Twins were made aware of allegations involving Miguel Sano at an offsite appearance during the 2015 season,” the organization said in a statement. “The Twins, along with Major League Baseball, take these allegations very seriously. Until more information is gathered, the Twins will have no further comment.”
MLB spokesman Mike Teevan said in a statement that the league is “aware of the allegations and are now in the process of looking into it.”
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