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Reports: Former Cleveland Indians SS Omar Vizquel sued by former minor league batboy over alleged sexual harassment

The alleged events occurred in when Vizquel was managing the Double-A Birmingham Barons.
Credit: Tony Dejak/AP
Cleveland Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel prepares to throw out Chicago White Sox runner Ross Gload at second base on a grounder by Ben Davis in the fourth inning of a game in Cleveland on Saturday, August 28, 2004.

BIRMINGHAM, Ohio — WARNING: This story contains graphic descriptions of alleged crimes involving a sexual nature. Reader discretion is advised.

Former Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel is being sued in federal court for alleged sexual harassment while managing in the minor leagues, according to multiple media reports.

Both The Athletic and ESPN say the suit was filed by a former batboy for the Birmingham Barons, the Chicago White Sox's Double-A affiliate whom Vizquel managed  during 2019 season. The 25-year-old plaintiff, who has autism, claims he was "targeted for sexual harassment because of his disability."

The man accuses Vizquel of inquiring about a possible sexual relationship, but even after the batboy refused, Vizquel would repeatedly come up behind him in the shower area and expose his erect penis while in "normal" conversation. On one occasion that August, the man says Vizquel asked him to come to the shower and emerged fully naked and erect before ordering the man to wash his back.

Vizquel was later suspended with pay before the White Sox fired him that September. In a statement to The Athletic, the organization said it had "conducted an internal investigation that resulted in the termination of the organization’s relationship" with Vizquel.

Vizquel had already been under fire since this past December, when The Athletic published separate allegations from his wife that he had physically and emotionally abused her multiple times before and during their marriage. Vizquel later released a statement and gave multiple interviews denying her statements, and no criminal charges were filed.

In 24 MLB seasons -- including 11 with Cleveland -- Vizquel was one of baseball's best shortstops, winning 11 Gold Gloves and making three All-Star teams while also tallying 2,877 hits and helping the Tribe win two American League pennants. He has been considered by most a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame, but his vote totals declined in his latest turn on the ballot following the domestic violence reports.

The latest lawsuit also names the White Sox and Barons as defendants, and so far Vizquel has not returned requests from both The Athletic and ESPN seeking comment. MLB has apparently been investigating Vizquel for his alleged behavior both with the batboy and his wife.

RELATED: Hall of Famer, former Indians second baseman Roberto Alomar fired by MLB over sexual misconduct

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