A former girlfriend of Sam Dyson accused the veteran MLB reliever of sexual battery, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress in a civil lawsuit.
The Athletic shared a statement from Robert Buschel, an attorney for Alexis Blackburn:
"Mr. Dyson has not accepted responsibility for his behavior, thus he has forced this matter to be tried and proven in front of a jury. We have no doubt that the findings of the jury will be identical to that of Major League Baseball and that Mr. Dyson will be held to account for his violent actions against Ms. Blackburn."
In March, MLB suspended Dyson for the 2021 season following an investigation into whether he violated its joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy.
Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic first reported in November 2019 that MLB was looking into the matter after Blackburn leveled allegations against Dyson on Instagram.
Blackburn said on her personal account that she "allowed my physical health, my emotional health and my mental health to diminish to nothing" and "allowed more things to happen than I want to admit." On an account she had dedicated to her cat, Blackburn also said Dyson had been verbally abusive and "hurled" things at her and her pet.
Rosenthal and Strang followed up to report police in Jupiter, Florida, interviewed Blackburn and Dyson in January 2020 about the allegations, in particular Dyson allegedly kicking a kennel housing Blackburn's cat on Nov. 6, 2019.
During her conversation with authorities, Blackburn said there had been "multiple previous incidents of physical violence" by Dyson and that he had been abusive toward her for years.
Dyson acknowledged to police that they had a "verbally violent and toxic relationship" and admitted to kicking the kennel but said the cat wasn't inside.
An officer said in their report they were "unable to find probable cause due to conflicting statements and the time delay of the incident."
According to Rosenthal and Strang, Blackburn had evidence documenting the unhealthy dynamic she shared with Dyson:
"The Athletic has reviewed text messages, photos, medical documents and public records and conducted several interviews with friends and associates of the pair, which support Blackburn's claims that Dyson routinely tried to assert control over her social interactions, work opportunities, and medical decisions and routinely belittled and demeaned her in front of family members and friends."
When announcing Dyson's suspension, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred called the punishment "appropriate" based on what league investigators uncovered.
Dyson hasn't pitched since the 2019 season. He has made 376 appearances over eight seasons and has a 3.40 ERA.