Horatio Sanz is facing allegations in a new lawsuit that he once groomed an underage fan and sexually assaulted her during a Saturday Night Live afterparty.
According to a report by TMZ, the unnamed plaintiff is accusing the comedian of not only groping her during the May 2002 party, but also digitally penetrating her while in the presence of numerous NBC employees. At the time, the woman was just 17 years old.
The court filing goes on to allege that Sanz — who was featured on the late night sketch series from 1998 to 2006 — first met the anonymous plaintiff two years earlier when she ran an SNL fan site at 15. From there, the suit claims the Chilean-American actor began grooming the young Jane Doe, leading online conversations to sex and and being overly affectionate in person despite being fully aware she was underage.
Following the assault, the alleged victim says she tried to cope with her depression, PTSD, and shame by using “dissociative drugs,” which eventually led to her being hospitalized for treatment.
Years later, in 2019, the woman wrote in the court papers that she incidentally encountered Sanz at an industry event in New York City, where he characterized their online relations as “cybersex” and further confessed to masturbating while chatting with her at the time. The accuser additionally claims to have text exchanges in her possession where the comedian admits to the behavior in the lawsuit, apologizing and insisting he’d changed his life since then.
Sanz has issued a statement calling the claims “categorically false” and “ludicrous.” His attorney told TMZ, “Before filing this lawsuit anonymously, [the accuser] demanded $7.5 million in exchange for her silence. We, of course, refused and will vigorously contest these totally meritless claims.”
While the amount of damages requested in the filing hasn’t been made public, the suit also lists NBCUniversal and SNL Studios as co-defendants along with Sanz.