FORT MYERS, FLA. – Miguel Sano was interviewed by investigators from Major League Baseball on Tuesday, a sign that the inquiry into an alleged assault on a female photographer in 2015 may be nearing a resolution.
Sano, 24, missed the Twins’ workouts Tuesday after his representatives informed the team of his appointment with MLB’s security departments, according to a source with knowledge of his whereabouts. Sano returned to Hammond Stadium by late afternoon, in time for the Twins’ night game against Boston, though he was not in the lineup.
Sano did some weightlifting after returning to camp, Paul Molitor, and the manager decided to stick to his plan to have the burly Dominican make his Grapefruit League debut Wednesday. Sano will bat cleanup and play third base in the Twins’ home game vs. Tampa Bay, according to the lineup posted in the Twins clubhouse.
Sano was accused Dec. 28 by Betsy Bissen, a photographer who had shot occasional Twins games and player appearances, of trying to kiss her and forcibly pull her into a bathroom after an autograph appearance at a fan apparel store at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka on Oct. 23, 2015. “No, he didn’t rape me, but he sure did assault me,” Bissen wrote in a Twitter post in December.
Sano denied the accusation through his agents, and MLB immediately undertook an investigation under the two-year-old policy covering domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. The investigation is conducted solely by MLB security under the commissioner’s office, and the Twins and Sano have been left largely uninformed about its progress.
But interviewing the accused is typically the final step in an investigation of this sort, and Sano’s meeting Tuesday may indicate that Commissioner Rob Manfred will receive the results of the investigation soon. The decision of whether to discipline Sano rests solely with Manfred. Punishments in previous cases under the new policy have included suspension, fines and sensitivity training, though in most cases a police report was included in the evidence.