By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A professional photographer is accusing a Minnesota Twins player of attacking her at a mall.

Betsy Bissen posted those allegations against Miguel Sano on Twitter Thursday morning, using the “MeToo” hashtag. In her post, Bissen wrote that the third baseman quote “didn’t rape me, but he sure did assault me.”

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Sano says that never happened.

Betsy Bissen says the attack took place in 2015 while she was volunteering at a book signing at a store inside Ridgedale Mall. It was there she claims Miguel Sano used force while trying to kiss her.

She says she held onto her story for two years, and decided now was the time to let it out. Bissen says it was difficult to tell her story, but she felt she had to let others know what she experienced while covering the Minnesota Twins.

She claims it started off with the first base coach hitting on her almost every game.

In her Twitter statement, Bissen says flirtation turned violent at an autograph session in 2015. She says after the signing, he grabbed her by the wrist and forced her inside an Apple store. She says she did not want to go but went to avoid causing a scene.

Bissen describes fighting off his advances, trying to stop Sano from kissing her. She told him no and pulled away. He eventually gave up.

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The next day, her body was sore all over from fighting off Sano. Experts aren’t surprised by the timing of these latest allegations.

“With one woman coming out about a sexual assault or sexual harassment, other women feel less afraid. And with this latest one, yes it maybe took her a while to tell it, but what if her telling leads to 10 more women to share their story,” Lee Wolfe Blum said.

Lee Wolfe Blum, author of the book “Brave is the New Beautiful,” says there is comfort in numbers when it comes to women coming forward to tell their truth.

Sano denies the allegations and says it never happened. The Minnesota Twins say they are aware of what has been said. They will not comment until further information is available.

The team’s players and all employees connected with the club undergo annual harassment training, according to a representative with the Twins.

Bissen is getting support from other Major League Baseball players.

Former Minnesota Twin and current Tampa Bay third baseman Trevor Plouffe responded with a tweet to Bissen saying, “I understand why you didn’t but I wish you would have come to me.”

And current Twins pitcher Trevor May also wrote to Bissen, “I’m sorry Betsy!”

In the same tweet posted Thursday, Bissen says the Twins’ first base coach flirted with her at nearly every game she attended and even asked for her phone number. She said she declined, knowing he’s married and around 20 years older than her.

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“Every day new stories come out. More women come forward about their sexual assaults and rapes. When will it end? For those of us who have been thru a similar situation, hearing each of those stories is another reminder of what we went thru,” she wrote. “It’s not just the recaps of my fellow women who have been thru situations of their own that remind me of what happened, it’s every baseball game, every write up about him that rehashes this. Every time I have to hear about how great people think Miguel Sano is, I’m reminded of how awful he actually is and how he hurt me.”

Reg Chapman