Abuse allegations prompt Rays to release team doctor

- The doctor released Tuesday from his contract with The Tampa Bay Rays baseball team amid allegations of sexual misconduct says he had a consensual relationship with his accuser.

Youtube user Brianna Rah posted a video accusing Dr. Michael Reilly of inappropriate conduct toward her when she was a teenager.

In a statement issued January 30, Reilly said in part, "I deny her allegations of sexual abuse. We did, however, have a consensual relationship when she was an adult, which I regret."

However, Rah tells a different story in her 10-minute video titled “The Importance Of Sharing My Story Of Sexual Abuse.”

In the video, posted January 17, Rah alleges years of what she calls “grooming” while she worked for Reilly as a babysitter and then at his Tampa practice.

“This is something no one wants to talk about. After a certain amount of time has passed, it becomes easier to process and if this can help anyone else in the world I will feel that it was worth it,” the video’s caption reads.

Brianna said the alleged abuse began when she was 14 and lasted for about three years. She says she and a friend were both hired as babysitters for Dr. Reilly’s children.

Later, she says he invited her to work part-time at his medical practice.

During the video, Brianna described Dr. Reilly as a mentor who would encourage her to practice her tennis, go to mass, and get good grades. She described his behavior as “grooming” her to trust him.

Brianna alleges Dr. Reilly would create situations where they would be in a room together, at which time he would allegedly rub her shoulders or touch her hands.

She said, on one occasion, Dr. Reilly asked her to come into his office. When she did, she says he closed the door and tried to kiss her.

To view the full video, visit https://youtu.be/PDNr0aCvO8o.

Brianna says she quit her job at Dr. Reilly’s office, but he called her 8 months later and asked her to return.

During the video, Brianna explains the “grooming” process “doesn't happen overnight." She also referred to herself at various times in the video as "younger," "weak," and "vulnerable."

Brianna explained why she decided to tell her story years after the alleged abuse.

"This person is still active in the community. No one's come forward. I know he's done this to other people," Brianna said. "And I finally thought, ‘If I have to put my face out there, if it's going to save another person from being sexually abused from this person, then so be it.’"

After it was announced the Rays were aware of the video and were parting ways with Dr. Reilly, Tampa Bay Rays Sr. Vice President of Administration and General Counsel, John Higgins released the following statement.

“We have very recently become aware of a video accusing Dr. Reilly of sexually abusing a former employee of his medical practice. We have ended our contractual relationship with him, and we have also alerted the St. Petersburg Police Department and Major League Baseball of this situation.”

Dr. Mike Reilly's full response to the allegations is below: 

"I recently watched the YouTube video. While I am deeply troubled by the allegations made, I am sympathetic to the pain she has expressed. 

I deny her allegations of sexual abuse. We did, however, have a consensual relationship when she was an adult, which I regret.

I’ve dedicated my life to medicine and making our community a better place to live, so having my reputation tarnished in this manner is disturbing.

The video has already had serious repercussions for me and my family. As a result, I am consulting with legal counsel, and I am not in a position to say anything further at this time.  

In the meantime, I ask that you allow my family and me our privacy as the process plays out.

Mike Reilly, M.D."

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