Baseball Icon Pete Rose Accused of Statutory Rape During the 1970s

Pete Rose
AP/David Kohl

Pete Rose, arguably the greatest hitter in the history of major league baseball, allegedly engaged in sexual activity with an underage girl in the 1970s, according to a sworn statement.

On Monday the alleged victim, now referred to as “Jane Doe,” delivered a sworn statement in court that in 1973, when she was “14 or 15 years old,” she got a phone call from “Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds.” After that phone call the legend, known by many as “Charley Hustle,” began meeting her to have sex at a house in Cincinnati.

The woman also claims Rose, married with two children at that time, also hooked up with her for sex outside of Ohio.

The Daily Mail reported that the statement was introduced on a defense motion in federal court during a defamation lawsuit filed by Rose last year against attorney John Dowd.

According to the Mail, “Rose said in his complaint that Dowd damaged his reputation and endorsement deals during a July 2015 interview on the Pennsylvania radio station WCHE-AM, in which the lawyer claimed that the disgraced MLB star raped young girls during spring training.”

The New York Daily News reported that Rose admitted to having sex with “Jane Doe,” but not until 1975. Furthermore, Rose claims that he thought she was 16-years-old, the legal age limit for sexual consent in Ohio.

Rose’s lawyer Ray Genco, called Dowd’s motion a “media distraction” and a “witch hunt.” Which failed to provide new evidence involving the case.

In 2015, Rose’s associate Michael Bertolini claimed that Dowd’s comments on the radio program, specifically those when he told investigators Rose ‘ran young girls’ during spring training, was untrue.

Dowd said on the show “Michael Bertolini, you know, told us that he not only ran bets but he ran young girls for him down at spring training, ages 12 to 14. Isn’t that lovely. So that’s statutory rape every time you do that.”

Lawyers for Rose said he “never did any such thing and until the Dowd accusations, no one had ever claimed he did…What Dowd attributes to Bertolini is false: Bertolini states he never told Dowd any such thing.”

The baseball icon’s entanglement with the attorney goes back decades. It was Dowd’s investigative report in 1989, three years after Rose retired, which led to his banning from baseball for gambling.

According to the Mail, Rose, 76, who works as a baseball analyst for Fox “cannot be criminally charged for the alleged statutory rape because too much time has elapsed since the alleged incidents, placing this case outside of Ohio’s statute of limitations.”


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