MLB clears Twins 3B Miguel Sano after assault allegation

Major League Baseball decided not to punish Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano after investigating an assault allegation stemming from a 2015 incident, the commissioner's office announced Friday.

Sano was accused nearly three months ago by photographer Betsy Bissen of trying to kiss her and forcibly pull her into a bathroom after an autograph appearance at a Minneapolis-area shopping outlet on Oct. 3, 2015.

Sano denied the allegations at the time. MLB investigated Bissen's claims and determined no discipline was warranted.

"The comprehensive investigation included interviews of more than 20 individuals, including Sano and the complainant, as well as a review of available documents, including communication records," the MLB commissioner's office announced in a statement. "At the conclusion of the investigation, the Office of the Commissioner found that there was insufficient evidence to support a disciplinary determination against Sano, due to conflicting and inconsistent witness accounts and the absence of contemporaneous substantiation.

"Barring the receipt of any new information or evidence, the Office of the Commissioner will not impose discipline on Sano in connection with the alleged incident."

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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
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Sano, 24, was pleased to learn of the news. The third baseman released a statement in Spanish and his words were translated into English.

"I want to thank Major League Baseball for conducting a thorough investigation and I'm happy to put this behind me," Sano said.

The Twins also released a statement on the matter.

"The Minnesota Twins fully support the joint MLB-MLBPA policy which governs serious matters of this nature," the team said. "The Twins are pleased that the Commissioner's Office has concluded its investigation with respect to Miguel Sano. Miguel can now return his sole focus to the season ahead.

"Per team protocol, the Twins will not comment further on this matter."

Bissen accused Sano of assault in a Twitter post on Dec. 28, 2017. She said the incident occurred after he appeared at a fan apparel store.

In her account, Bissen, inspired to tell her story by the #metoo movement, details how Sano flirted with her without reciprocation during a mall autograph signing at a store she volunteered at.

She wrote that after the signing, Sano grabbed her wrist and led her to another store, where they spent a half hour before Sano grabbed her arm again and attempted to pull her through a restroom door while repeatedly attempting to kiss her. Bissen says she screamed for help, but nobody came, and Sano 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," Bissen wrote.

Sano batted .264 with 28 homers and 77 RBIs in 114 games last season. His All-Star campaign was cut short by a shin injury.

--Field Level Media

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