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According To Court Documents, Pete Rose Committed Statutory Rape In The 1970s

ESPN released a troubling report regarding Pete Rose on Monday morning.

Former Major League Baseball star Pete Rose, who is banned for life from baseball after betting on the sport as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, is alleged to have had a sexual relationship with a woman under the age of 16 back in the 1970s.

The revelation comes via a sworn statement by an unidentified woman in the defamation lawsuit Rose has filed against John Dowd.

ESPN's William Weinbaum reported the news Monday morning. Here's more:

A sworn statement by an unidentified woman, contained in a motion filed Monday in John Dowd's defense against Pete Rose's defamation lawsuit, alleges that Rose had a sexual relationship with the woman for several years in the 1970s, beginning before she turned 16.

In the majority of states, including Ohio -- where both the woman and Rose lived at the time -- the age of legal consent is 16, so her allegation amounts to statutory rape.

Rose apparently acknowledged the sexual relationship in court documents as well, but noted that he believed it started when she was 16 years old.

Rose, at the time, was 34 years old and married with two children.

Rose cannot be charged, given Ohio's statute of limitations law.

The woman's account does not raise the prospect of a criminal charge for Rose, as it is well past Ohio's statute of limitations. She said they also had sex outside of Ohio when she was 16 or younger, but didn't specify the states, and Rose said their sexual relationship was confined to Ohio. In some states, such as Florida, the legal age of consent is 18.

Rose has yet to issue a statement. We'll keep you updated.