Pete Rose sues former baseball investigator over rape claims

Former baseball star Pete Rose is suing the lawyer whose investigative report got him kicked out of baseball for gambling, alleging the lawyer defamed him last year by saying on the radio Rose raped young teen girls during spring training.

Rose said in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday that John Dowd damaged his reputation and endorsement deals during an interview on WCHE-AM in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Dowd investigated Rose for Major League Baseball in 1989, leading the game’s all-time hits leader to be declared ineligible for the Hall of Fame.

The lawsuit states Dowd claimed Rose associate Michael Bertolini said he “ran young girls” to Rose during spring training, which Dowd called “statutory rape every time.”

A man answering a phone listed for Dowd in Massachusetts abruptly hung up.