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Sandoval case still in investigation stages

The Santa Cruz County sheriff's office said Monday it hopes to complete the bulk of an investigation into sexual assault allegations involving San Francisco Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval by the end of this week, then determine whether to seek charges.

Deputy Sheriff April Skalland said detectives are interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence this week, though analysis of some forensic evidence could take longer than a week. Skalland said the accuser is a 21-year-old woman who lives in Santa Cruz County.

The woman filed a sexual assault complaint around 4:25 a.m. Pacific Friday, Skalland said. A statement from the sheriff's office Monday said the woman met a small group of people in downtown Santa Cruz on Thursday night and then went to a resort in nearby Aptos, where the alleged incident happened. Sandoval was contacted at the resort by detectives and cooperated in the investigation, authorities said.

"Pablo and his attorney remain cooperative," Skalland said in a phone interview Monday. "Detectives are still interviewing people and the investigation is ongoing. They are collecting evidence and most of the investigation should be wrapped up this week."

The 25-year-old Sandoval and lawyer Eric Geffon met with authorities Friday. Geffon called the sexual encounter "consensual."

Sandoval was scheduled to play third base Monday in a rehab game for Class-A San Jose at Stockton as he works back from May 4 surgery to remove a broken hamate bone in his left hand. If all went well, manager Bruce Bochy said he would then join the Triple-A Fresno club to continue his rehab assignment. While Sandoval could rejoin the Giants this weekend for interleague play against two-time reigning AL champion Texas, Bochy said it "could make more sense" to wait until June 12 in the series opener against Houston following an off day.

Sandoval, a first-time All-Star last season, is batting .316 with five home runs and 15 RBIs this year.

Bochy said Monday he met only briefly with Sandoval on Saturday morning before the switch-hitting slugger left for Stockton. Giants management is clearly concerned with not only Sandoval's conditioning but his off-the-field behavior. Sandoval lost about 40 pounds before the 2011 season but again is struggling to keep the weight off.

"We need to get him in shape to play third," Bochy said before the finale of a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs. "Hopefully we're not forced to make a change. That's in Pablo's hands. Before he comes up here, it's not just the hitting, it's how he plays third base."