Yasiel Puig settles sexual assault lawsuit, wants to return to MLB in 2022

Yasiel Puig with Cleveland.
Yasiel Puig settled his sexual assault lawsuit. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

Content warning: This story contains depictions of alleged sexual assault and battery.

Former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig settled his sexual assault lawsuit Friday. Puig released a statement confirming he paid his accuser and wants to return to MLB in 2022.

Puig was sued for sexual battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and false imprisonment last October. The alleged assault occurred at a Los Angeles Lakers game in 2018.

The woman, who went by Jane Doe in the lawsuit, claimed Puig tried to take off the woman's clothes and touch her sexual organs in the bathroom at a Lakers game. The woman then said she was forcibly pinned by Puig, who exposed himself and reportedly started masturbating.

Puig did not deny having a sexual encounter with the woman, but claimed it was consensual.

Puig said he wanted to take the issue to court, but that a trial would not have happened until at least May 2022 or later. Puig said he did not want that to affect the 2022 MLB season, causing him to settle.

Yasiel Puig trying to return to MLB

Puig, 30, has not played in the majors since the 2019 season with Cleveland. He hit .267/.327/.458, with 24 home runs. After sitting on the free-agent market most of the offseason, Puig signed with the Atlanta Braves just before the start of the 2020 season. He tested positive for COVID-19 before joining the team, and the deal was nullified.

The lawsuit was brought against Puig days after the 2020 World Series. He did not sign with a team for the 2021 MLB season. Puig spent the year in the Mexican League, where he hit .312/.409/.517, with 10 home runs.