Tampa Bay Rays fire team doc after video alleges sex abuse
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays fired the team physician after a video posted on YouTube included accusations of sexual abuse with a teenager who worked for him about a decade ago.
The Rays severed ties with Michael Reilly, 67, on Tuesday and notified Major League Baseball and St. Petersburg police about the allegations in the video, which was posted by the woman, now 26, on Jan. 17, the team’s general counsel John Higgins said in a statement.
Reilly denied the abuse allegations in a statement issued by attorney Cathleen Bell Bremmer. He said he was “deeply troubled” by them and called the tarnishing of his reputation “disturbing.” He said he had a relationship with the woman when she was an adult.
St. Petersburg police spokeswoman Sandra Bentril said investigators are trying to determine whether charges should be filed.
Reilly also resigned a similar post at St. Petersburg Catholic High School when school officials contacted him about the video, The Tampa Bay Times reported. He also served as team doctor for the Tampa Bay Lightning from 1992-2002.
The 10-minute video titled “The Importance of Sharing My Story of Sexual Abuse,” was posted under the name Brianna Rah, which is not the woman’s real name.
“I know he’s done this to other people,” she said in the video. “I’ve debated making a video for years. I finally thought if I have to put my face out there, if it’s going to save another person from being sexually abused from this person, then so be it.”
She said she was 16 when she started working with Reilly. The abuse gradually progressed.
“He wouldn’t really say anything, he would just touch me, and without getting specific, it just got worse,” she said.
The woman said she became “numb” to being touched inappropriately.
Reilly said in the statement that he watched the YouTube video and is “sympathetic to the pain she has expressed.” He said the allegations have had “serious repercussions” for himself and his family.