In 2015, a 17-year-old girl told current Phillies manager Gabe Kapler—who was then the Dodgers’ director of player development—that she had been assaulted by two women while drinking in a Dodgers minor leaguer’s spring training hotel room in Glendale, Az., according to a report from the Washington Post. The girl apparently sent an email to Kapler in February 2015, claiming that she had been partying with two unnamed Dodgers minor leaguers and two women, eventually drinking so much that she barfed. Once that happened, the two women allegedly beat her up while the players watched and took video.
The Post reports that neither Kapler nor any other Dodgers officials alerted the police about the matter, opting instead to try to arrange a meeting between the players and the girl, who had apparently run away six months prior. The girl’s grandmother also talked to Kapler, claiming that Kapler offered her financial assistance and help with getting to a doctor if necessary, which Kapler denies. The grandmother says her granddaughter did not want to have dinner with the players, since she was traumatized by getting assaulted. In an email, Kapler wrote, “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 dinner never materialized, but the girl was arrested a week later for shoplifting, and when she spoke to reps from Arizona’s Department of Child Safety, they alerted the police. The police took a report, and the girl told them she’d been sexually assaulted by one of the players:
As the girl described the events of the night, as set forth in the police report, she added details she hadn’t mentioned to her grandmother. At one point, she said she began to feel sick and decided to lie down on the bed. While the two women and one of the players were in the bathroom, the other lay down next to her and slid his hand under her bra, and then down the front of her pants, she told police. It ended quickly, she said, when the others came out of the bathroom.
The girl did not wish to press charges, and she ran away from state custody shortly after. Glendale PD eventually moved on and declined to ever press charges. The Dodgers hired an attorney to represent the player, who was cut shortly afterward and ended his minor league career one year later.
Kapler told the Post his actions were in line with Dodgers HR guidelines, and also said that he was never told of a possible sexual assault until a reporter spoke to him last week. A Dodgers lawyer told the Post, “The Dodgers acted appropriately, and any suggestion that they should have done something different is simply unfair and inaccurate.”
The Dodgers’ minor league system and scouting operation are of particular concern to an ongoing Justice Department corruption investigation into MLB’s recruitment of Latin American players. The Dodgers also cut another player in 2015 after he was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid.