TORONTO – A New York woman is suing Edwin Encarnacion, alleging the Toronto Blue Jays slugger knowingly infected her with two sexually transmitted diseases.
Ashley Lebron, 24, filed the lawsuit in a New York court on Monday. She says in a statement of claim she contracted genital herpes and chlamydia after having unprotected sex with Encarnacion in February. She’s seeking US$11.5 million in damages.
The statement of claim contains allegations that have not been proven in court.
Encarnacion hasn’t spoken publicly about the lawsuit for battery. His agent, Paul Kinzer, didn’t immediately return a telephone message Tuesday but in a statement released to Fox Sports and Sportsnet called the claim “completely inappropriate and meritless.”
Kinzer added Encarnacion “will take every legal measure to defend himself against this frivolous claim and will bring appropriate claims in the appropriate forums against all of the individuals seeking to exploit his financial position.”
Encarnacion, 33, was batting .268 with 101 runs batted in and 35 homers heading into Toronto’s home game Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels. He’s in the final season of a four-year, US$39-million deal that pays him $10 million in 2016.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Tuesday he didn’t want to talk about the suit while general manager Ross Atkins expressed support for his player.
“If you guys want to talk baseball and how good of a player he is, I’m happy to talk about that,” he said. “But that is a very personal issue that I’m not going to get involved with. He’s been a great teammate, a great person to work with and we fully support Edwin and will continue to.”
Lebron says in her statement of claim that her family has long been acquainted with Encarnacion’s. She says she met the player in 2013 when Toronto was playing in New York and that Encarnacion provided tickets to the game for her and her family.
Lebron says in court documents she and Encarnacion met again in September 2015 in Baltimore.
In February, Lebron said Encarnacion invited her to the Dominican Republic. Court documents allege he purchased round-trip plane tickets for her, arriving Feb. 13 and leaving Feb. 15, although he later changed the departure date to Feb. 16.
According to the court documents, Lebron and Encarnacion had unprotected sex on more than one occasion while in the Dominican Republic.
When she returned to New York, Lebron claims she began experiencing body aches, headaches, a fever and chills as well as a stinging sensation when urinating. The statement of claim says Lebron went to hospital and was told she might have a urinary tract infection.
Shortly afterwards, Lebron claims she went to another hospital where she was diagnosed with genital herpes and chlamydia. She said the hospital informed her “she most likely contracted herpes from her last partner, which was Encarnacion,” the statement of claim says.
After informing Encarnacion about her conditions, Lebron alleges he said he was “clean.” Lebron adds in the documents that Encarnacion claimed she may have picked up the virus when they went four-wheeling and swam in a river but eventually agreed to get tested.
Lebron also claims Encarnacion contended on Feb. 26 that he had papers proving he was “clean.” But, according to the statement of claim, after asking him repeatedly if he has received his test results, Lebron alleges Encarnacion told her the results hadn’t come back.