Starlin Castro’s attorneys: Sexual assault ‘allegations are baseless’
BY CHRIS FUSCO AND GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporters January 6, 2012 11:56AM
Starlin Castro of the Cubs is safe at third base for a one-run triple in the fourth inning against the White Sox Sunday, July 3, 2011, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: February 8, 2012 8:05AM
A woman has accused Chicago Cubs All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro of sexually assaulting her, but Castro hasn’t been charged with any crime and his attorneys are vehemently denying he’s done anything wrong.
A spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department acknowledged Friday that Area 3 detectives at Belmont and Western are “investigating a criminal sexual assault” complaint involving Castro. The spokeswoman, Melissa Stratton, declined to comment further because the investigation is ongoing.
Castro, 21, has been in his native Dominican Republic over the winter but is scheduled to return to Chicago for the Cubs Convention, which begins next Friday, according to Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer.
A heavily redacted police report about the incident — first publicly disclosed Friday morning by WBBM Newsradio — reportedly states that Castro met the woman on Sept. 29 at a River North nightclub and took her back to his apartment. Police, according to the radio station, became involved after the woman, who is in her 20s, went to a hospital the next day.
The Cubs issued a statement Friday acknowledging the allegations and saying the team is taking the situation very seriously.
“We are hopeful when the facts are brought to light, Starlin will be cleared of any wrongdoing,” the statement said.
Hoyer, during a conference call about a Cubs trade Friday, also addressed the issue.
“The Cubs are aware of the police report filed regarding an incident involving Starlin Castro,” Hoyer said. “An allegation like this is something that’s very serious, but there’s not enough information to make any further comments or statements at this time.
“We expect our players to behave with the highest level of respect, on the field, off the field and in the community. Being a Cub carries with it a very high standard of conduct and responsibility.”
When asked about the impact of the investigation and allegations on Castro’s return to the team, Hoyer said: “I’m not going to answer questions directly about it. There’s a time and a place.
“The police are still very much in fact-finding mode on the entire thing. Really to comment on any part of this is inappropriate because the investigation is incomplete.
“The expectation is, yes, he’ll be here for Cubs convention.”
And for Spring Training?
“Again, no comment on that. There’s a time and place to comment on this, and it’s not right now.”
Castro’s attorneys, Jay K. Reisinger and Michael P. Gillespie, said: “We are aware of certain allegations that have been made against our client, Starlin Castro. We have thoroughly investigated this matter, and we are confident that these allegations are baseless. Given the sensitive nature of this matter, we cannot comment any further.”