Birmingham, AL – A 25-year-old man with autism accused longtime major league baseball player Omar Vizquel of sexual harassment in a civil lawsuit filed Aug. 6.
The allegations made against him occurred in 2019 while the autistic man was a bat boy for the Chicago White Sox minor league team that Vizquel was managing, according to ESPN. Vizquel managed the Birmingham Barons Double A affiliate.
The accuser said that Vizquel deliberately exposed his penis to him on at least five occasions and also forced the autistic man to clean Vizquel’s back while in the shower, according to ESPN.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the lawsuit claims the White Sox and Barons violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and is asking for financial compensation.
The lawsuit states that on Aug. 22, 2019, Vizquel was naked and in the shower and told the man, “Wash my damn back!” according to ESPN. The autistic man was frightened and complied, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit states that many Barons staff members, including a clubhouse manager, laughed when the man told him he washed Vizquel’s back, ESPN reported.
The Chicago White Sox released a statement that said: “After first learning of an alleged incident in late August 2019, the Chicago White Sox conducted an internal investigation that resulted in the termination of the organization’s relationship with Omar Vizquel. Because this is active litigation, at this time the White Sox will not comment further regarding the allegations included in this lawsuit.”
Vizquel was accused last year of multiple instances of domestic abuse against his wife, according to ESPN. Vizquel denied those charges.
Vizquel, 54, played in the majors from 1989 through 2012 when he retired at the age of 45.
Vizquel made $63.2 million in salary over his 24 season professional career. He made three all-star games and won 11 Gold Gloves and is regarded as one of the best fielding shortstops in the history of the game.
In 2018, Vizquel became eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame but has not reached the necessary 75% voting threshold to be elected, according to MLB.com.