MLB Rape Accuser Can’t Shield Grand Jury Info

     (CN) – Detroit Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon is entitled to the grand jury testimony of the woman accusing him of rape, a federal judge ruled Friday.
     Though the government declined to prosecute the ballplayer, whose full name is Alfredo Simon Cabrera, he still faces a civil action in Washington, D.C., by his accuser.
     Jane Doe, as she is identified in court records, claims that Simon raped her in his D.C. hotel room on April 27, 2013, while his team was in town for a game against the Washington Nationals. Before the alleged attack, the two had gotten drinks at a nightclub.
     Simon has been trying to get a copy of his accuser’s testimony to the grand jury in D.C. Superior Court since December 2014. He was traded to the Tigers from the Cincinnati Reds that same month.
     That court produced the transcript to the U.S. District Court in Washington for it to make the call, but indicated that “the need for continued grand jury secrecy is minimal in this case.”
     U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ordered the transcript produced to Simon at a hearing last month and explained why in a written ruling today.
     The eight-page opinion describes inconsistencies between Doe’s allegations and what she told the grand jury.
     “If justice is to be done in this case, these conceivable inconsistencies must be assessed by a jury,” the judge wrote. “Moreover, because the plaintiff contends that she cannot recall with particularity her grand jury testimony, the defendant must have access to the transcript of that testimony, so that he may attempt to refresh her recollection, impeach her credibility, or bolster his defense with what she previously said under oath.”
     The need for disclosure of Doe’s testimony to avoid an unjust result outweighs the need for secrecy of her testimony, the court ruled.
     Walton also held that Simon’s request for grand jury materials is narrowed to only Doe’s testimony, which is necessary for his defense.
     “Defendant can reopen the deposition of the plaintiff and examine her on the substance of her grand jury testimony,” the ruling states. “Moreover, the defendant will be permitted to use the plaintiff’s grand jury testimony during the trial of this case, if there is a proper legal basis to do so.”
     Last year, Walton ruled that Doe can remain anonymous for now but would have to reveal her identity if the case goes to trial.
     Simon played under the name Carlos Cabrera earlier in his career, according to Baseball Reference.

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