Sandoval not expected to be charged

Investigators say there is not enough evidence to arrest San
Francisco Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval for an alleged sexual
assault at a hotel near Santa Cruz.

The Santa Cruz County Sherriff’s Office completed its
investigation Thursday and forwarded the case to the district
attorney’s office. No charges are expected.

A 21-year-old woman who lives in Santa Cruz County filed a
sexual assault complaint against the All-Star third baseman June 1.
The woman told investigators she met a small group of people in
downtown Santa Cruz and went to a resort in nearby Aptos, where she
said she was assaulted. Sandoval was contacted at the resort by
detectives and cooperated in the investigation.

Sandoval’s attorney, Eric Geffon, had previously called the
encounter a ”consensual, personal relationship of a sexual
nature.” In a statement released Thursday, Geffon said: ”The
Sherriff’s Department has completed a thorough and professional
investigation and we are pleased that they have concluded that
there is insufficient evidence to support an arrest. Pablo will
continue to focus on helping the Giants towards a playoff run this
season.”

The Giants have a major investment in the player nicknamed
”Kung Fu Panda” for his powerful swing and portly presence.

The switch-hitter received a $17.15 million, three-year contract
last winter. He lost about 40 pounds through a strict workout
regimen two offseasons ago to bring him down to around 240 pounds,
then batted .315 with 23 home runs and 70 RBIs in 2011.

Sandoval missed more than a month this season after he had
surgery May 4 to remove a broken hamate bone in his left hand. He
is batting .307 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs.

Sandoval also made his second straight All-Star appearance and
first as a starter this week. He hit the first bases-loaded triple
in All-Star history off Detroit ace Justin Verlander to highlight a
five-run first inning that propelled the National League to an 8-0
victory over the American League on Tuesday night.

San Francisco is a half-game behind the rival Los Angeles
Dodgers for first place in the NL West. The Giants return to play
Friday at home against the Houston Astros.