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A photographer who’s covered the Minnesota Twins has accused star player Miguel Sano of sexually assaulting her in October of 2015.
Betsy Bissen, 24, shared her #MeToo story on social media Thursday, tweeting a detailed account of the alleged assault that took place at a local mall following an autograph signing. She claims the third baseman kept flirting with her during the event, but she declined to reciprocate. When Sano decided he wanted to go the mall’s Apple Store, he allegedly grabbed the photographer by her wrists to get her to accompany him. Bissen said she went along, as she “didn’t want to cause a scene.”
About half an hour later Sano allegedly grabbed Bissen an attempt to pull her into a bathroom.
“I pulled back as he held onto my wrist. It hurt, how badly he was grasping at my wrist, but he wouldn’t let go,” she wrote. “I wasn’t going to give up my fight though. He then leaned down and tried to kiss me, more than once. 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.”
Bissen claims Sano eventually gave up after she fought him off for 10 minutes. She said the incident left her body “sore all over from having to fight off this athlete that thought he was entitled to take advantage of me against my will.”
“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.”
In a statement to ESPN, MLB spokesman Mike Teevan confirmed the league is looking into Bissen’s allegations. Sano has “unequivocally” denied the claims.
“It never happened,” Sano said in a statement. “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.”
Several hours after tweeting about her experience, Bissen made her Twitter account private.