July 31, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Tigers' Evan Reed blasts sexual assault claims against him: 'I did nothing wrong'

Detroit — Tigers minor league pitcher Evan Reed on Thursday said an Oakland County woman who has accused him of improper sexual relations during an alleged incident in March could be seeking attention by going after his status as a professional athlete.

“She always knew who I was,” Reed said during a press conference Thursday. “It was no secret. That was established at the bar. I have no idea what her motive is. She’s a mother. She has children. I don’t know her life or story. I don’t care to know it at this point. Status, attention, I don’t know what her thinking is.”

Reed, 28, was arraigned earlier Thursday on sexual assault charges stemming from the alleged incident involving the 45-year-old woman. Reed, who had served as a relief pitcher for the Tigers earlier this season before being sent to the minor league Toledo Mud Hens in June, appeared before Judge Renee McDuffee and had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf during his video arraignment in 36th District Court.

McDuffee set Reed's bond at $50,000, 10 percent, and said he will be allowed to travel with the Mud Hens.

Reed is charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct after an investigation into a complaint lodged by the 45-year-old victim who, along with a female friend, said she first met Reed at a Royal Oak bar on March 30.

After dancing, the woman said she sat in a booth with Reed and consumed an alcoholic drink, after which she said she felt odd, according to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

After midnight, Reed and the woman left the bar and went to his hotel room at the MotorCity Casino in Detroit. The woman said that at about 7:30 a.m., Reed assaulted her in the hotel room, Worthy said.

The woman said that after the alleged assault, Reed ordered the woman to leave, according to Worthy.

Reed fired back Thursday on the prosecutor’s details, saying they’ve “devastated” his family and career.

“The idea of drug use is ridiculous,” he said. “This has blindsided me. The conversation we had when she left was almost playful. She said she tried to find her cellphone. I tried to help her.”

Reed further insisted Thursday the woman consented to having sexual intercourse in the pitcher’s room at the MotorCity Casino Hotel.

“I did nothing wrong,” he said. “I did nothing that was forced. When you look at my actions, if I was guilty why would I subject myself to that. I’m in Detroit for less than five hours and I’m undergoing a polygraph. Everything I’ve had to endure mentally and physically ... my family can’t tell you how devastating this has been.”

In court Thursday, Reed was dressed in gray suit with no tie. He remained quiet with his hands folded in front of him.

Reed’s attorney, Ben Gonek, asked for personal bond, which was denied by McDuffee

"I am going to deny that request,” McDuffee said. “I'm not going to treat this individual any differently than I would for any other defendant facing a similar charge.”

The judge also ruled Reed is to have no contact with the woman allegedly involved.

Following the arraignment, Reed’s lawyers held a press conference and ripped the charges.

“I can tell you that practicing law in Wayne County for 25 years, I’ve seen good and bad decisions come from the (prosecutor’s) office. This is the most ridiculous I’ve seen,” Gonek said.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Reed has been charged under the theory that he is alleged to have committed an act of penetration through force or coercions.

He is also charged under the theory that he committed the act when he had reason to believe the victim was physically helpless or mentally incapacitated or mentally incapable of consent.

Reed turned himself in to authorities Thursday morning ahead of his arraignment in 36th District Court. A conviction is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Reed first was investigated by the Detroit Police Sex Crimes Unit, before the case — and a warrant request — was turned over to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office in early May.

Asked about Reed's standing with the Tigers organization, the team has declined comment. He still is listed on the Toledo Mud Hens' website.

Reed will have a preliminary examination at 9 a.m. Aug. 12 on the matter.

TGreenwood@detroitnews.com
(313) 222-2345