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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Phillies manager Gabe Kapler is responding to a report that surfaced Friday night that Kapler did not report an alleged assault of a 17-year-old girl to police in 2015. On Saturday, Kapler released a statement in response to The Washington Post’s report.
While serving as the Dodgers’ director of player development in 2015, Kapler allegedly received an email from the 17-year-old girl, describing being assaulted by two women in a minor league player’s hotel room, while one of the players recorded the incident and posted it to Snapchat, instead of diffusing the situation, the Post reports.
Instead of notifying the authorities, Kapler instead tried to arrange a dinner with the players and the girl.
The next week, when police were made aware of the incident, the girl reported being intoxicated and sexually assaulted by one of the players while “struggling to remain conscious,” according to the Washington Post piece.
Kapler maintains that, in his discussions with the victim and the players, he was never alerted about the sexual assault, only the physical assault by the two women.
Kapler posted his response on his personal site, Kaplifestyle.com, but the site crashed soon afterward.
“Before we begin, I want to make one thing clear: There is an allegation that I concealed or otherwise mishandled a sexual assault claim,” Kapler wrote. “This is 100% not true. There was no allegation of sexual assault made to me during my handling of this incident.”
In the statement, Kapler also told his version of the events that followed the incident.
“I was contacted by the grandmother of the victim the night of February 24th, 2015 via my Dodgers email address. This email contained a written account of an incident that had taken place the night before involving two Dodgers minor league players. I called the grandmother to confirm what had happened. Then, I spoke to the players involved. One player had no recollection of the events at all (all parties agreed that he was passed out due to overconsumption of alcohol during the relevant period and was not a participant or witness to the event). The other confirmed in broad outlines what was said by the grandmother. The next evening, February 25th, the victim sent an email to my Dodgers email address containing her written account of what happened.”
Kapler says he spoke with all parties involved: the Dodgers players, the victim and the victim’s grandmother, and all three accounts did not mention a sexual assault.
Kapler suggested a meeting between the Dodgers players and the victim, as an opportunity for the players to apologize and both sides to reconcile. The victim turned down any such meeting.
“Subsequently, I received three emails (two from the grandmother, one from the victim) requesting financial assistance in some way (“I would appreciate any type of offer”). I felt a request of this nature was above my paygrade. I shared this information with people within the Dodgers. I did not reply to these requests, I did not provide financial assistance, I did not offer to provide financial assistance, and I did not engage in any negotiations of the sort.”
As to why Kapler did not involve the police, the Phillies manager responded:
“The question of why I didn’t report this to the police is a fair one. Admittedly, there were many thoughts going through my mind at the time. But above all, the victim’s grandmother asked for my reassurance that I wouldn’t “turn [the victim] in” before the victim would share what had happened. After the victim shared her description of the night, she sent me a follow up email and said she didn’t want to talk about it any further. My feeling at the time was that the victim should have the right to make the decision about what she wanted to do. Perhaps I should have taken it out of her hands, but my intention was to respect the victim and her wishes.”
Instead, Kapler says he informed his supervisor and the Dodgers legal team of the incident.
In summation, Kapler maintains that, given his knowledge of the situation at the time, he “tried to make the best possible decisions I could to ensure that this incident was handled appropriately and to refer the situation to the proper individuals at the Dodgers.”
“I acted based on what I knew at the time based on written accounts and discussions. I believe my actions respected the victim, her situation, the player, and my role at the Dodgers.”
“I take violence against women, especially sexual violence, incredibly seriously. In this particular case, the notion that a sexual assault had taken place was never brought up during the time that I was involved in responding. There is a big difference between responding to a player who displayed an unacceptable lack of judgment and one that assaulted a woman. I am well aware of that difference, and I assure you that I would have acted differently if at the time I was involved I had reason to believe that a sexual assault had occurred.”
The Phillies have not yet addressed the incident.
Read Kapler’s full statement here.