Castro Called for Interview in Sex Assault Case: Attorney

Star infielder's attorney says three-month-old sexual assault allegations are "baseless"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Chicago Cubs' Carlos Pena, left, and Starlin Castro walk back to the dugout after they and Aramis Ramirez scored on Carlos Pena' three-run home run off Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Bill Bray, during the eighth inning.

    More than three months after a Chicago woman filed a sexual abuse complaint against Chicago Cubs short stop Starlin Castro, Chicago police have reportedly asked Castro's attorney, Michael Gillespie, to bring him in for an interview.

    Gillespie said the request was made Friday evening. Castro has not been charged in the case.  His attorney said he will arrange the interview as soon as possible.

    Earlier Friday, the team released a statement defending their star infielder, saying they were confident that Castro would be cleared of all wrongdoing once the facts are known.

    "We expect our players to behave with the highest level of respect on the field, off the field and in the community. Being a member of the Cubs carries with it a very high standard of conduct and responsibility," General Manager Jed Hoyer said during an unrelated teleconference with reporters.
     
    The 23-year-old woman made the accusation last September, and the story had been in the hands of numerous media outlets for weeks, unreported, because Castro has not been charged.  A Chicago radio station went public with the story Friday morning, quoting a heavily redacted police report, prompting the Cubs to issue the statement defending their star player.
     
    The woman alleged that in late September, she and a friend had drinks with Castro and his associates at a bar on West Ontario Street.  She said they later went to Castro’s apartment, where she said the alleged assault took place during the early morning hours the following day.
     
    Castro left on a flight for the Dominican Republic, where he lives in the off-season, later that day.

    Out of town early Friday, Gillespie released a statement, saying he was aware of the allegations which had been made against Castro. 

    "We have thoroughly investigated this matter, and we are confident these allegations are baseless," he said.
     
    As of Friday morning when that statement was released, Gillespie said the police had not even asked him to produce his client to be interviewed.  But Friday evening, following a day of intense media coverage, Gillespie said detectives asked him to arrange the meeting.
     
    Castro’s lawyers say he did not flee Chicago to avoid questioning in the matter, and that he was previously ticketed to leave Chicago on the day he departed.

    The Cubs shortstop is scheduled to appear at the annual Cubs Convention at the Chicago Hilton later this month.  The team said they expect him to make that appearance.
     
    The attorney for the woman making the allegation, Paul Zido, said he believes his client and that the allegations she makes against Castro are very serious.
     
    “There is physical evidence, corroborative of non-consensual sexual acts,” Zido said.
     
    Sources close to the investigation pointed to the fact that no one has attempted to even speak with Castro during the three months which have elapsed since the initial allegation was made.  Chicago police will only say that their investigation of the matter is continuing, but a spokesman for the Cook County State's Attorney's office said prosecutors had not been contacted about the case.

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