The Rays have cut ties with longtime team physician Michael Reilly following allegations that he sexually abused a woman eight to 10 years ago.
In a YouTube video titled “The Importance of Sharing My Story of Sexual Abuse,” the woman accuses Reilly of touching her inappropriately and trying to kiss her when she was a teenager working in his medical office in St. Peterburg, Florida.
“I know he’s done this to other people,” said the woman, who posted the 10-plus minute clip on Jan. 17 under the name Brianna Rah. “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.”
The Rays initially suspended Reilly, 67, after being made aware of the video last week, but announced Tuesday that he was “no longer affiliated with the organization.” He had been with the franchise since its inception in 1998.
“We have very recently become aware of a video accusing Dr. Reilly of sexually abusing a former employee of his medical practice,” Rays vice president and general counsel John Higgins said in a statement, according to The Tampa Bay Times. “We have ended our contractual relationship with him, and we have also alerted the St. Petersburg Police Department and Major League Baseball of this situation.”
Reilly, who was also the team doctor for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning from 1992-2002, has also resigned a similar position at St. Petersburg Catholic High School, per the report.
The woman, now 26, said she first noticed Reilly’s behavior when he would drive her and a friend home from babysitting his children but would “forget” where he was going. She said she asked to work at his medical practice two years later, but quit after he began touching her on her hands and shoulders.
Reilly called her eight months later, she said, to request that she come back, which she did. She was then given computer tasks which required her to stay after the office closed and that Reilly would sit near her and touch her, she said.
“It just progressively got worse and worse,” she said. “There were times in the office when he would ask for me during hours to come into his office and he would shut the door and try and kiss me.”
The woman said she has since had issues with anxiety and panic attacks.
Reilly has issued a statement, according to ABC Action News, denying he sexually abused the woman while adding they had “a consensual relationship when she was an adult, which I regret.”
He said he is seeking legal counsel over the allegations.