Sunday, July 22, 2018
Public safety

St. Pete police reopen inquiry into ex-Rays doctor Michael Reilly

ST. PETERSBURG — The investigation into ex-Tampa Bay Rays physician Dr. Michael Reilly was reopened late last week after police said the woman who complained of sexual abuse and inappropriate behavior came forward with new information.

Police started their investigation after Brianna Holzerland, 26, posted a 10-minute video to YouTube on Jan. 17 detailing allegations that she said occurred while she worked as a teenager at the family practitioner’s private practice. That led the Rays to fire the doctor on Jan. 30.

Detectives closed their case last week. In a highly redacted investigative report released March 5, Detective Karen Lofton wrote that there was not enough evidence to support charges of simple battery or sexual battery against Reilly. The statute of limitations for those charges had also expired.

Then the victim in that report, whose name was withheld by police, came forward last week with more information, said St. Petersburg police spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez, so the case was reopened.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Rays sever ties with team physician Michael Reilly after video alleging inappropriate conduct

Holzerland said she was not the one who reported new information to the police. Police would not reveal what that new information was or who offered it because it involves an active investigation.

On Monday, Reilly again denied the allegations.

"I am surprised and saddened by the claims made against me, and I deny the allegations of inappropriate conduct," Reilly said in a statement sent by his attorney. "I have reviewed the police reports recommending closing the matters. Outside of Ms. Holzerland’s claims, the St. Petersburg Police Department has not contacted me or my lawyers about any closed or newly-opened investigations.

"It is unfortunate that this matter is playing out in the public eye, and I ask that you allow my family and me our privacy during this process."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Fired Rays physician denies allegations of sexual abuse in statement

After the case was closed last week, the Tampa Bay Times requested all recent police records involving Reilly. Police provided information from another former staff member and a patient.

The former staffer said while she worked in Reilly’s office five years ago as a teenager, the doctor would "rub on her back for about 20 to 30 minutes without her permission," the report said.

Once, the report said, Reilly asked the staffer into his office, where he hugged her, wrapping his arms around her and "slowly thrusting his pelvis toward her," making her uncomfortable. She quit shortly thereafter.

The former staffer said she was unsure if she wanted to press charges. The statute of limitations for simple battery had already expired, so detectives did not contact Reilly about these allegations.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Woman stands by allegations of abuse against ex-Tampa Bay Rays doctor

The other report was made by a 43-year-old woman who said she was a patient of Reilly’s. During a visit to the doctor’s office in 2015, Reilly "used his hand to tap/slap the victim on the buttocks several times," the police report said.

The woman did not seek to press charges, but told detectives she wanted to report the incident after seeing the news reports about Reilly.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Ex-Rays doctor has spent years serving his hometown

The Times is withholding their identities because of the nature of the allegations. Those cases are considered part of the reopened investigation, police said.

Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or [email protected] Follow @ByJoshSolomon.

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