By Laila Kearney
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco Giants pitcher Chad Gaudin has been charged with lewdness, Las Vegas prosecutors said on Wednesday, in connection with what a local newspaper has described as a groping incident involving a woman lying on a gurney at a Nevada hospital.
Gaudin, 30, was arrested on January 27 in connection with the incident and was charged on July 2 with one count of lewdness, a gross misdemeanor, according to Tess Driver, spokeswoman for the Clark County District Attorney's office.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal, citing police reports, said that the pitcher appeared to be drunk when he approached a 23-year-old woman lying on a gurney at the Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas. Gaudin is accused of having told the woman she was "gorgeous" and touching her face and breast, the paper reported.
After refusing a paramedic's request to leave the woman alone, Gaudin was restrained by hospital security until police arrived, at which time the pitcher was "yelling and using profanity," the paper reported.
Gaudin signed with the San Francisco Giants in December 2012. He has pitched for the Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees among other major league teams and has a 42-43 lifetime win-loss record with an earned run average of 4.46.
A representative for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department did not return a call on Wednesday.
Gaudin's lawyer, Dominic Gentile, said that on the night of the incident his client was experiencing symptoms related to rhabdomyolysis, a medical condition in which damaged muscle fibers are released into the bloodstream. It can cause "confusion and loss of orientation," he said.
"Although he has been accused of improperly touching another hospital patient while on the premises that night, there are differing and exonerating versions of what occurred that have been reported by eyewitnesses," Gentile said in a statement.
He added that Gaudin, who the Giants website said is married with a son, denies any unlawful conduct in the alleged groping incident.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Will Dunham)