Content Warning: This story contains details about an alleged sexual harassment. The content can be difficult to read and emotionally disturbing. An ex bat boy of the Birmingham Barons, an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox Double-A, is demanding to Omar vizquel by sexual harassment. The former bat boy, who has autism, alleges that he was “the target of sexual harassment due to his disability.”
The complaint states that in 2019, Vizquel, then manager of the Barons, “repeatedly exposed his erect penis to (him) and forced (him) to wash his back in the shower.”
The lawsuit, filed Friday in United States District Court in Alabama, also names the White Sox and Barons as defendants. According to the complaint, the worker said his supervisors and former trainers Vizquel “They laughed at the sexual harassment, further aggravating the trauma and humiliation ”he experienced. The lawsuit, which alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, claims that he was “constructively fired” from the job following the harassment.
Vizquel did not respond to a voicemail seeking comment. The White Sox said in a statement: “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. Due to active litigation, the White Sox will not comment further on the allegations included in this lawsuit at this time. “
A senior Barons official did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. The former bat boy also filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which investigated and issued a determination on June 3, 2021 that the former bat boy had been “subjected to sexual harassment and discrimination based on disability and that he was constructively dismissed, ”according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, former batboy, who is 25 years old, “has substantial disabilities in information processing, handling stressful situations, successful maintenance of interpersonal relationships and in activities such as driving and working.” (The Athletic does not name potential victims of sexual crimes without their consent).
The complaint states that the former Bat boy He had a difficult childhood and was often teased and targeted because of his disability, making it difficult for him to form close relationships. When he was selected to work as one of the Barons’ five bat boys in 2019, he said he “felt for one of the first times in his life that he was part of a team.” He said he considered Vizquel like a friend”.
On August 22, 2019, the ex bat boy He said that after a game that he had worked on, Vizquel He handed him a pair of shower shoes and told the former bat boy to follow him, after which Vizquel stripped naked, got into the shower, and resurfaced with a boner, ordering the former bat boy to wash his back. According to the complaint, the former bat boy said he was “humiliated, intimidated and scared of what would happen if he disobeyed.”
As reported The Athletic previously, Vizquel was suspended with pay by the White Sox while they investigated his conduct near the end of the 2019 season, before firing him in September. The lawsuit alleges that the White Sox had “actual or suspected” knowledge of previous similar incidents in Vizquel’s training history.
The complaint claims that in 2015, a Detroit Tigers batboy tweeted “Omar vizquel he told me that the bat boys from the first day they have to clean the backs of the coaches in the showers ”. Vizquel was the Tigres first base coach from 2013 until the end of the 2017 season.
When contacted by The Athletic, the bat boy from Detroit said he thought that Vizquel it was weird, but he took it as a joke. The assistant said he did not wash Vizquel’s back.
The complaint alleges that “the White Sox, their minor league affiliates, including the Barons, considered that sexual harassment as mere entertainment and they did not take corrective or corrective action ”.
The conduct of Vizquel was investigated by MLB both as a result of the alleged incident with the Barons and due to complaints of physical and emotional abuse from his wife; which included a 2016 arrest for assault in the fourth degree in Washington state, for which Vizquel was not indicted.
An MLB spokesperson did not respond to a message left asking about the status of their investigation.
With information and image of The Athletic (Katie Strang, James Fegan and Ken Rosenthal).