Pete Rose's defamation suit against John Dowd dismissed

A federal court judge in Pennsylvania dismissed Pete Rose's defamation lawsuit against John Dowd on Friday after the two sides reached an agreement prior to Rose being deposed.

Statements from Dowd's lawyer David Tobin and Rose's lawyer Martin Garbus said: "Pete Rose and John Dowd have agreed, based on mutual consideration, to the dismissal with prejudice of Mr. Rose's lawsuit against Mr. Dowd. I am not permitted to comment further regarding the resolution of the matter."

Rose sued over Dowd's assertions on the radio in 2015 that Rose had committed statutory rape decades earlier.

Dowd, the former Major League Baseball special counsel who ran its 1989 probe that led to Rose's banishment, after concluding the then-Cincinnati Reds manager had bet on baseball, now heads President Donald Trump's personal legal defense team for the Russia investigation.

In an interview with WCHE-AM of West Chester, Pennsylvania, two years ago, Dowd said former Rose associate Michael Bertolini "told us that not only did he run bets, but he ran young girls for him down in spring training, ages 12 to 14." Dowd added: "Isn't that lovely? So that's statutory rape every time you do that."

Rose and Bertolini issued denials, and Rose filed suit last year in U.S. District Court in Eastern Pennsylvania, seeking unspecified damages from Dowd.

As ESPN's Outside the Lines reported first on July 31, Dowd's defense filed a sworn statement by an unidentified woman alleging she had a sexual relationship with Rose in the 1970s that began before she turned 16 -- the age of legal consent in their home state of Ohio. In court documents, Rose acknowledged the relationship but said he believed it began in 1975, when she was 16. He turned 34 that April and was a star player for the Reds and a married father of two children.

After the woman's allegation and Rose's acknowledgment of their sexual relationship became public, the Philadelphia Phillies canceled plans to honor Rose and Fox Sports replaced him as a postseason studio analyst.

OTL reported in October that Rose's legal team dropped a contention of the suit that Dowd's statutory rape accusation resulted in two companies declining to extend endorsement deals with Rose totaling more than $300,000.

Rose, who is 76, as is Dowd, lives in Las Vegas and regularly signs autographs at a Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino memorabilia shop.

His bid for MLB reinstatement was denied by commissioner Rob Manfred in December 2015, and a year later, the Baseball Hall of Fame rejected an appeal by Rose -- the sport's career hits leader -- of its rule that those deemed ineligible by MLB are also ineligible for election to the Hall.