Pete Rose had a sexual relationship with a girl that started before she turned 16 during the 1970s the now-grown woman stated in a sworn statement filed Monday in federal court.
The testimony was filed as part of the ongoing defamation lawsuit baseball's all-time hits leader filed last year against John Dowd, the man who investigated him on behalf of Major League Baseball in the late 1980s for betting on the game.
That led to Rose's lifetime ban from the game.
"In 1973, when I was 14 or 15 years old, I received a phone call from Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds," the woman identified as "Jane Doe" said in Monday's filing. "Sometime after that, Pete Rose and I began meeting at a house in Cincinnati.
"It was at that house where, before my sixteenth birthday, Pete Rose began a sexual relationship with me. This sexual relationship lasted for several years. Pete Rose also met me in locations outside of Ohio where we had sex."
Dowd said on a radio station in 2015 that Rose routinely had sex with underage girls, especially in Florida during spring training. That led Rose to file the lawsuit last year.
“Michael Bertolini told us that not only did he run bets, but he ran young girls for him down in spring training. Ages 12-14,” Dowd said on WCHE 1520 AM in an interview on July 13, 2015, referring to a longtime Rose associate. “Isn't that lovely? So that's statutory rape every time you do that. So he's just not the kind of person that I find very attractive. He's a street guy.”
A federal judge then ruled that Rose could move forward with case. At the time, Rose's lawyer reportedly called the ruling "a big win."
In a written statement included in the filing submitted by Dowd's lawyers, Rose acknowledged the relationship.
But he stated it started around 1975 and when he thought the girl was older than 16. That's the age of consent in Ohio - although it is older in states such as Florida. Rose also testified that he did not have sex with the girl outside of Ohio.
Rose was married at the time with two children - he was named the World Series MVP in 1975, when he was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year.
The filing also asked the judge overseeing the case to compel Rose to provide information about other women with whom he had affairs, something Rose and his lawyers have refused to do so far.
Rose's lawyer Ray Genco told The Enquirer Monday that the filing does not prove Dowd's case and called it "a media distraction."
"I doubt this filing gets in front of a jury," Genco said. "This provides no new evidence to back up what he said on the radio, which is that Pete Rose had someone run 12-14 year-old girls for him in Florida."
Dowd declined comment Monday when reached by The Enquirer, saying "the papers speak for themselves."
Dowd's lawyer David Tobin also declined comment.
The lawsuit is just the latest battle between Rose and Dowd, who helped gather the proof needed to ban the Hit King from baseball for life in 1989.
Genco told The Enquirer in 2016 that Rose is targeting only Dowd with the suit, and not the radio station nor "publishers with deep pockets."