Portland Timbers offered incentives not to sue Andy Polo

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Genesis Alarcon, the ex-wife of Andy Polo, said that about two weeks after police were called to their home due to an alleged incident of domestic violence, two Portland Timbers representatives attempted to dissuade them from pursuing their player.

Speaking to ESPN on a Zoom call, Alarcon said Timbers chief security officer Jim McCausland, a former detective with the Portland Police Department, and an unnamed attorney visited him at the house that she shared with Polo on or about June 6. that Timbers’ representatives assured her that they would ensure that she and her two children were housed and fed, but that it was understood that this would be done in exchange for her not bringing criminal charges against Polo.

“They were going to help me and make sure my kids and I weren’t left on the streets,” Alarcon said with the help of an interpreter. “They were going to make sure Andy would be responsible for me and my children, but that never happened. I was told it would be in exchange for not pressing charges.”

Alarcon later added through her attorney, Michael Fuller, that she had no intention of pressing charges anyway — even though the Timbers didn’t know it at the time — because she “did not want to have a negative impact on the children”.

When asked to comment, the Timbers told ESPN: “While the Timbers have offered support to Mr. Polo, Ms. Alarcon and their children during a difficult time, there has never been a suggestion – express or implied – that the support was offered in return for consideration by Ms. Alarcon. The Timbers would never condone or participate in such conduct.

The allegation comes the same day Alarcon was interviewed by a law firm MLS retained to investigate Timbers’ handling of the domestic violence incident.

According to an incident report obtained by ESPN from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, on May 23, 2021, Polo received “a citation in lieu of an arrest for harassment after grabbing [Alarcon’s] wrist.” The citation is classified as a B misdemeanor. No charges have been brought against Polo.

The Timbers then took the option on Polo’s contract in December, holding him for another year.

In February, Polo was first suspended by the Timbers after Alarcon first went public with the abuse allegations during a television show in his native Peru. His contract was later terminated by the Timbers, who failed to report the May 23 incident to MLS headquarters, as is customary.

Reports from Peru say that Polo has signed with Lima-based Club Universitario de Deportes where he made his professional debut aged 16.

Alarcon has since filed a domestic violence lawsuit in US District Court against Polo. The lawsuit alleges assault, battery and negligence, and seeks “equitable compensation for non-economic damages in an amount determined by the jury to be reasonable and taxable costs.” Alarcon’s attorney, Michael Fuller, told ESPN that Polo was notified of the lawsuit on March 9 in Portland.

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Herc Gomez criticizes the Portland Timbers’ treatment of Andy Polo after being charged with domestic abuse.

In the aforementioned police report, Alarcon indicated that she and Polo had been separated for three years but lived under the same roof. On May 23, a friend of Alarcon called the police saying her friend’s husband was hitting her. Two deputies arrived and began interrogating Polo and Alarcon separately. When police arrived, the report said Alarcon “appeared to be frantic, scared and stressed” and the children looked frightened.

The report adds: “Genesis said that she and Andy had been arguing for two days. She told me today that she was at home cleaning the kitchen when Andy came home. She said says Andy wanted her cell phone back because he wanted to take back everything he ever gave her She told him she didn’t have it She said during the argument that Andy reached out hand and grabbed her right wrist and scratched it. She showed me the underside of her right wrist and I saw what appeared to be a slight red abrasion.”

The police report goes on to say that two Timbers employees, Gabriel Jaimes, manager of player affairs and professional development, and McCausland later arrived at the residence.

The report says:[McCausland] told me that he would see to it that peace was maintained inside the house. He said if he needed to move Andy or Genesis out of the house to maintain safety and security, he would take care of it. He assured me that no further incident would take place.”

Neither Alarcon nor the Timbers followed up on the citation. In a statement after Polo’s contract termination, the Timbers said: “We deeply regret that we did not suspend Polo immediately, especially given the disturbing new details of abuse that have surfaced… It was a failure. from us, and that will never happen again.”

In a statement given to reporter Nick Negrini, Polo denied Alarcon’s allegations.

“The allegations are baseless and part of a strategy by the mother of my children to take 60% of my earnings as a football player in the United States,” he said. “It is important to remember that the television show did not attempt to contact me to, at the very least, corroborate the facts by asking me for my version, irreparably damaging my image and my name.”

Alarcon’s statement is the latest charge against the Timbers organization for covering up alleged off-field transgressions. The Timbers ownership group also owns the Portland Thorns of the NWSL, and last October a report by The Athletic alleged that former manager Paul Riley engaged in the sexual coercion of two Thorns players in 2015. An investigation conducted by the Thorns in 2015 resulted in Riley being fired, but, rather than making the findings public, Riley was allowed to quietly leave after the 2015 season and find employment with the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage.

The Thorns’ handling of the allegations against Riley sparked two separate investigations, one led by former acting attorney general Sally Yates on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation and a joint investigation between the National Women’s Soccer League and the NWSL. Players Association.

The incident with Polo remained silent until Alarcon went public with his allegations last month. MLS commissioner Don Garber has since said he has full confidence in the management of the Portland Timbers, even as the club faces three ongoing investigations for its handling of abuse allegations.

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