Former major-league baseball star Omar Vizquel sexually harassed an autistic batboy when he was manager of a Chicago White Sox minor-league team, a federal lawsuit alleges.
The allegations stem from Vizquel's time as manager of the Birmingham Barons, a famed minor-league team that serves as a Class A affiliate of the White Sox, according to the complaint filed in the Northern District of Alabama.
The lawsuit alleges that Vizquel was naked and handed the plaintiff, now 25, "a bar of soap and told him, 'Wash my damn back!'"
"Humiliated, intimidated and frightened of what would happen if he disobeyed," the plaintiff "complied with Vizquel's demand," the complaint said. "As he washed Vizquel's back, Vizquel's hands were in front of his body near the level of his waist."
The back-washing lasted a minute before Vizquel turned around, the lawsuit says.
"Vizquel's penis was fully erect. He made no effort to hide his erection ... rather, he proudly displayed it," the lawsuit says.
Moments later, the batboy told two other Barons employees, who are not defendants, what had just happened, and they laughed at him, according to the complaint.
An attorney for the Barons declined to comment Tuesday.
The White Sox said in a statement Tuesday that they took action after they were informed of the allegations.
"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," the statement said. "Because this is active litigation, at this time the White Sox will not comment further regarding the allegations included in this lawsuit."
The White Sox announced in late 2019 that Vizquel would no longer coach in the organization, but they did not say why at the time.
Vizquel, 54, could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday at publicly listed phone numbers and email addresses for him.
Vizquel, who broke in to the big leagues in 1989, had a 24-season career with the Seattle Mariners, the Cleveland Indians, the San Francisco Giants, the Texas Rangers, the White Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Vizquel had been manager of the Tijuana Bulls in the Mexican Baseball League before he was let go two weeks ago.
Vizquel's estranged wife accused him of domestic violence late last year. He denied those allegations.