Pirates’ Kang investigated for sex assault claim

Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang is being investigated by Chicago police over an allegation of sexual assault.

The Pirates said a statement Tuesday that they were aware of the allegation.

“We take allegations of this type extremely seriously,” team president Frank Coonelly said in a statement, adding that “as a result of the ongoing police investigation, we cannot comment further at this time. We have also advised our staff and our players that they should not comment on the matter either.”

The team said it would cooperate with the commissioner’s office in the matter.

The Chicago Tribune, citing police, reported that a 23-year-old woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by Kang, 29, on June 17 when the Pirates were in Chicago to play the Cubs.

Police said Kang and the woman met on the dating app “Bumble,” which states that the woman must initiate contact. Kang then asked the woman to go to his hotel room, where when she arrived she was given an alcoholic beverage, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, according to the newspaper.

The woman blacked out about 15 to 20 minutes after consuming the drink and then alleges she was sexually assaulted as she drifted in and out of consciousness, the newspaper reported.

The woman told police she didn’t become fully aware of her surroundings until she was in a taxi en route to her home. She went to a hospital on June 19, where a rape kit was done, Guglielmi said, according to the newspaper. Her formal complaint to police came 10 days later, the newspaper reported, citing sources.

Kang has not been charged with a crime.

Kang, who is in the second season of a four-year, $11 million contract he signed with Pittsburgh in 2015, has a .250 average with 11 home runs and 28 RBIs in 48 games. Last year he hit .287 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs in 126 games.

Kang, who is South Korean, played nine seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization, where he hit .298 with 139 home runs and 545 RBIs.

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