By Curt Anderson AP Legal Affairs Writer
MIAMI — A major-league pitcher who defected from Cuba is being sued for $18 million by a Cuban-American man imprisoned on the communist island.
The lawsuit was filed recently in Miami federal court against Aroldis Chapman, a left-handed pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. The lawsuit claims that Chapman falsely accused Danilo Curbelo Garcia of involvement in human trafficking, leading to his 2008 arrest and conviction in Cuba. Curbelo Garcia is serving a 10-year sentence.
Chapman defected in 2009 in the Netherlands and was later signed by the Reds. The lawsuit claims Chapman accused Curbelo Garcia to win favor with the Cuban government so he could rejoin the national baseball team. Chapman had been suspended for a previous attempt to defect.
Chapman’s agent didn’t immediately return a phone call Tuesday seeking comment.