MLB investigating assault allegation against Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano

Dec 28 (The Sports Xchange) - Minnesota Twins All-Star slugger Miguel Sano is under investigation by Major League Baseball for a 2015 incident in which a photographer alleges Sano attempted to sexually assault her.

The photographer, Betsy Bissen, wrote about the incident on her Twitter account on Thursday and said it happened after Sano participated in an autograph session at a local shopping mall.

"We are aware of the allegations and are now in the process of looking into it," MLB spokesman Mike Teevan said in a statement.

Bissen, who worked for Twins Daily at the time, said Sano repeatedly tried to kiss her and attempted to force her into a bathroom.

"I pulled back as he held onto my wrist," Bissen wrote about the Sano. "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. 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."

Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano
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Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano
Jul 1, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano (22) celebrates with left fielder Eddie Rosario (20) after hitting a home run in the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 16, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano (22) holds the broken bat of Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) in the second inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 21, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Minnesota Twins right fielder Miguel Sano (22) reacts after striking out against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 19, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer (7) and third baseman Miguel Sano (right) celebrate against the Minnesota Twins against the New York Yankees at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 9, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano (22) reacts after an RBI double in the seventh inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano (22) rounds the bases on his two run home run during the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 18: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins looks on during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 18, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Diamondbacks 10-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 17: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins looks on in game one of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians on August 17, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 9-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Jul 10, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; American League infielder Miguel Sano (22) of the Minnesota Twins in the first round during the 2017 MLB Home Run Derby at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Sano denied the allegations on Thursday.

"I unequivocally deny the allegation made against me today -- it never happened," Sano said in the 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."

The Twins weren't informed of the incident at the time, according to Bissen. The club said it learned of the situation on Thursday.

"Today the Minnesota Twins were made aware of allegations involving Miguel Sano at an offsite appearance during the 2015 season," the team 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 comments."

Bissen said she told people about the incident when it occurred, including her family, but wasn't ready to publicly reveal her story until Thursday.

Sano, 24, set career highs last season with 28 homers and 77 RBIs while making his first All-Star team.

Bissen said the incident changed her opinion of Sano.

"Every time I have to hear how great people think Miguel Sano is, I'm reminded of how awful he actually is and how he hurt me," Bissen wrote.

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