A woman has filed a lawsuit against Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon today in Washington D.C. alleging that she was raped by Simon in April of 2013. The name of the plaintiff in this case is unknown to the public as the court has granted leave for the plaintiff to file the suit under the pseudonym of Jane Doe. The lawsuit alleges that Simon escorted the plaintiff to the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel while she was "visibly intoxicated" and unable to consent. The lawsuit also states that an alleged rape kit that was performed on Ms. Doe substantiates her claims of abrasions consistent with non-consensual intercourse.
It should be noted that the lawsuit filed today is a civil matter and not a criminal one. It doesn't determine guilt or innocence, just liability. In plain English, this means that Simon is being sued and is not facing incarceration at the moment. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia investigated the matter last year and chose not to pursue the matter after the Ms. Doe testified in front of a grand jury. It should also be noted that there is a difference in what has to be proven in civil and criminal tries. The U.S. Attorney's Office would have had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a criminal act occurred. In this civil matter, the burden is markedly lower; often only a preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing evidence. Having not read the complaint or reviewed the causes of action, I cannot make a determination of which one applies in this matter. As an aside, I am not licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, so I will refrain from attempting to articulate the elements that would need to be proven in this matter.
The only thing undeniably truthful that can be said in this matter is that it is an unfortunate situation. Based on the allegations in the complaint, there truly is no resolution here that can, for lack of a better term, make everything better. As the case proceeds onward, we should get a better understanding of what happened during the evening and morning in question. The parties are due in court for a scheduling conference on July 25, 2014.
On that note, it is far too early to speculate on anything in this matter. This is not Alfredo Simon's first run-in with the judicial system, but his previous situation is unrelated. It is also not prudent to speculate why the U.S. Attorney's Office chose not to proceed with criminal charges. It is too premature to assign a motive to the plaintiff other than the fact that she is of the information and belief that the allegations in the complaint happened. The public, and the court, for that matter, has no evidence before it at this point that suggests one way or another. We'll likely continue facing even murkier shades of gray as the trial goes on until a final resolution is reached. This may be great news for Nancy Grace, but it's terrible news for everyone else.
The preceding paragraph is a roundabout way of saying that we have no clue what happened, but we know what one person is saying what happened between the plaintiff and Alfredo Simon. Unfortunately, in our desire for instant-gratification, we'll likely try to search for answers and holes in the stories of both parties. Also, equally unfortunately, we'll probably also try to determine how these life-changing allegations and alleged encounters will affect a game. I implore everyone, including myself, because this is easier said than done, to consider the solemnity and gravity of this circumstance before engaging in a discussion on this matter.