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Friday, June 21, 2024

Jury awards wife of Andy Polo $600,000 in civil suit for domestic violence

A jury in Multnomah County, Oregon has awarded Génessis Alarcón, the estranged wife of Peru international midfielder Andy Polo, $600,000 in damages, after finding in a civil lawsuit that the former Portland Timber is liable for assault and battery against Alarcón.

According to Michael Fuller, Alarcón’s attorney, the jury awarded Alarcón the maximum amount allowed, but his client may not be able to collect from Polo what she is now owed.

“If [Polo] keeps all his assets overseas and earns no income in the U.S., he will likely evade collections,” he said via text message.

Fuller added that he will still do his utmost to collect the damage award on behalf of Alarcón, should Polo accompany Peru’s national team to the U.S. this summer.

“He can enter the U.S., but we will do our best to domesticate the judgment in the states he travels to, with the hope of executing against him while he’s physically present on U.S. soil.”

Polo, 29, currently plays for Lima-based club Universitario Deportes, but the judgment could potentially impact his participation with Peru in this summer’s Copa America , which is being hosted by the United States.

Peru’s Copa America group stage games are set to take place on June 21 against Chile in Arlington, Texas, followed by a match against a team still to be determined on June 25 in Kansas City, Kansas. The group stage finale against Argentina is set for June 29 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Polo has been called to Peru’s squad for the last two 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela and Bolivia.

The suit was filed in March of 2022, in federal court, before being refiled in state court. Initially, Polo was the only defendant, but Peregrine Sports LLC, the parent company of the Timbers, was added when the case was refiled. That portion of the case was settled in March of 2022.

Alarcón was granted a default judgment of $600,000 against Polo in July of 2022, when he failed to appear in court. But in March of 2023, Polo asked for, and was granted, a full trial.

The lawsuit stems from an instance of domestic violence that occurred on May 23, 2021. According to an incident report obtained by ESPN from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, on that day, Polo was “issued a citation in lieu of arrest for harassment after grabbing onto Genesis Charlott Alacon [sic] Dorival’s wrist.” The citation is classified as a B misdemeanor.

The lawsuit added that, “With his child present, defendant attempted to and did in fact cause harmful physical contact with plaintiff, including by violently grabbing her by the arm, pulling her by the hair against her will, and pushing her to the floor, causing her pain and discomfort.

The filing went on to make claims of assault, battery and negligence, and seeks “fair compensation for noneconomic damages in an amount determined by the jury to be reasonable, and taxable costs.”

The police report goes on to detail that two Timbers employees, Gabriel Jaimes, who is the Players Affairs and Professional Development Manager, and the team’s head of security, Jim McCausland, who is a former Portland Police Bureau detective, later arrived at the residence. The report reads that “[McCausland] told me he would make sure that peace would be maintained inside the house. He said if he needed to move Andy or Genesis out of the home to maintain safety and security, he would take care of it. He assured me no further incidents would take place.”

Alarcón went public with allegations about the alleged incident in February on the Peruvian television show, “Magaly TV, La Firme”.

Following Alarcón’s public allegations, Portland suspended Polo from team activities and then cut ties with the player a day later. This is despite knowledge of the May incident and having picked up Polo’s contract option in December. It later emerged that the MLS Players Association filed a grievance on Polo’s behalf, and MLS paid Polo the money left on his contract. He signed with Universitario Deportes shortly thereafter.

Neither Alarcón nor the Washington County District Attorney’s office opted to pursue criminal charges against Polo.

Alarcón later told ESPN, in an exclusive interview, that two Timbers representatives, later identified as McCausland and Christine Mascal, an attorney hired by the Timbers to represent Polo, met with her two weeks after the incident, and offered inducements for her to drop the charges. Her attorney later released a recording of the interview.

“They were going to help me, and make sure me and my kids didn’t get left on the street,” Alarcón said with the help of a translator. “They were going to make sure that Andy was going to be responsible for me and my kids, but it never happened. I was told this would be in exchange for not pressing charges.”

MLS engaged the law firm Proskauer Rose to investigate Portland’s handling of the alleged domestic violence incident and its aftermath.

Proskauer Rose concluded that the Timbers didn’t cover up the incident, nor did it offer inducements to Alarcón, and that Alarcón understood that the decision not to pursue charges was hers alone.

MLS did fine the Timbers $25,000 for failing to report the incident to the league.

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