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Kapler may have covered up assault by Dodgers minor leaguers

Gabe Kapler
Manager Gabe Kapler returns to the dugout after making a pitching change in the seventh inning on Players Weekend during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 24, 2018. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

A report in the Washington Post on Friday detailed an account of an assault by Dodgers minor leaguers four years ago that may have been covered up by now Phillies manager Gabe Kapler. At the time of the alleged event, Kapler was the Dodgers director of player development. The story relies on police reports and emails for the details of the incident. One of the emails was sent from a 17-year old girl to Kapler a few days after the alleged incident.

The email details that the girl was in a hotel room with two Dodgers minor leaguers – who were not identified – and two other women and were consuming large amounts of vodka. The 17-year old allegedly vomited on the bed and was then beaten and thrown out of the room by the women, all of which was supposedly videoed by one of the players and later placed on Snapchat. On the same day as that email, the girl’s grandmother emailed Kapler noting the same allegations.

The grandmother reported that Kapler called her almost immediately and apologized. He also allegedly offered to assist the girl “in any way she needed (money for the doctor, food or a place to stay.” At that time, Kapler also suggested a meeting with him, the girl and the two players over dinner, to which the grandmother later replied that the 17-year old was not interested in any sort of reunion with the players.” In an email, Kapler replied that “This dinner is our initiative. We will ensure [the girl’s] safety. We believe we can teach valuable lessons to all involved through this method of follow up.”

The grandmother alleges that she then responded to Kapler when the girl’s boyfriend kicked her out of their apartment, asking for help because the girl was now homeless. Records in the case show that Kapler did not respond to that email.

Police did not get involved until the girl was arrested for shoplifting a week later in Phoenix. Police turned her over to Arizona Department of Child Services and she told them her story, which led them to report the incident to the police. In the police report, the girl made further allegations against one of the players, who she alleges sexually assaulted her while the other player and the two women were in the bathroom. It was following that when the girl vomited on the bed, leading to the beating.

The 17-year old refused to file charges, but DCS pursued charges, acting as the girl’s legal guardian. Police then contacted the grandmother, who forwarded her email exchange with Kapler. The girl then ran away from a group home and the police were contacted by David Derickson, an attorney hired by the Dodgers to represent the player who was accused of the sexual assault. Derickson informed police that his client would not consent to be interviewed and the case wound up going nowhere. Derickson confirmed to the Washington Post that he was hired by the Dodgers to represent the player, but maintains that the player was innocent. Two months after the alleged incident, the player, who was not named in the story, was released by the Dodgers and signed with another unidentified team and played one more season in the minors before ending his career.

For his part, Kapler issued a written statement, approved prior to its release by the Phillies. In the statement, Kapler pointed out that the sexual assault allegations were not brought up to him and noted a “big difference between responding to a player who displayed an unacceptable lack of judgement and one that assaulted a woman.” Kapler explained that he is “well aware of that difference,” and said that he “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 issued a statement of their own, except to say that they were unaware of the incident until contacted by the Washington Post for a comment on the story.

 

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