PORTLAND, Ore. — Genessis Alarcon claims representatives from the Portland Timbers pressured her to not bring charges against her estranged husband, former Timbers midfielder Andy Polo, following a domestic violence incident last year.
ESPN first reported Alarcon's allegations on Wednesday.
Alarcon's attorney, Michael Fuller, told KGW that the details about an alleged visit from the Timbers staff surfaced when Major League Soccer interviewed Alarcon as part of an investigation into how the Timbers handled the domestic violence incident last year.
Fuller said that about two weeks after the incident, the Timbers sent a manager — identified in the ESPN story as Jim McCausland, the Timbers' head of security — and a "fixer type lawyer" to Alarcon's house, where they discussed possible compensation and whether or not to pursue criminal charges against Polo.
"There was no express legal promises made as far as we understand it," he said, "but there certainly was the implication that good things will happen as long as there's no criminal charges brought, and that that would be the right thing to do."
Alarcon had not intended to press charges anyway because she didn't want to involve her children in the legal process, Fuller added, but the staff who visited her apparently did not know that.
Alarcon also filed a domestic violence complaint against Polo in U.S. District Court on March 1. Fuller said Polo was served with the summons and complaint Wednesday night.
The Timbers denied Alarcon's allegations in a statement provided to KGW.
"While the Timbers offered support to Mr. Polo, Ms. Alarcón and their children during a difficult time, there was never any suggestion – expressly or implicitly – that the support was offered in exchange for consideration by Ms. Alarcón," the team said. "The Timbers would never condone or participate in such conduct."
The Timbers terminated Polo's contract on Feb. 10 after Alarcon accused him on Peruvian television of having physically and emotionally abused her and their children. Major League Soccer also announced that it would suspend Polo pending the outcome of an investigation into the allegations.
In a statement on Feb. 10, the Timbers said the club had been aware of a dispute between Polo and Alarcon on May 23 of last year, which resulted in the Washington County Sheriff's Office citing him for harassment, but the citation was not subsequently pursued by the victim or the prosecutor's office.
"We deeply regret not suspending Polo immediately, especially considering the troubling new details of abuse that surfaced this week," the club said in a statement on Feb 10. "It was a failure on our part, and one that will never happen again."
Polo subsequently posted a statement on Instagram disputing the abuse allegations and saying the TV program Alarcon spoke to did not try to contact him to corroborate his version of the story. The post now appears to have been deleted.
MLS later announced that it had hired an outside law firm to investigate the Timbers' handling of the May 23 incident. ESPN reported that the club did not report the incident to MLS headquarters.
According to a police report about the May 23 incident, Alarcon had messaged a friend that her husband was hitting her. Her friend called the sheriff's office and deputies responded to Polo and Alarcon's home.
Through a translator, Alarcon told the deputies that Polo was the father of her two children, but that they'd been separated and sleeping in separate beds the past three years. She said they had been arguing the past two days, and at one point Polo grabbed her wrist and scratched it.
The report said that McCausland and the Timbers' manager of affairs Gabriel James arrived at the home while deputies were there, and that McCausland assured police that the club would make sure no further incidents took place.