Former Dodgers pitcher Perez AWOL during trial

Former Dodgers pitcher Carlos Perez was ordered to pay $15 million in damages after he was found liable in a civil sexual assault trial in Miami, The L.A. Daily News reported Tuesday.

Perez was ordered to pay $9 million in punitive damages and $6 million in compensatory damages to Miami resident Amy McQuillin for an incident that took place in 1999 in Vero Beach, Fla, the Daily News reported. Perez was at spring training with the Dodgers at the time.

Perez has not attended the two-day trial and was not present for the jury's decision, at least the third time Perez has failed to appear for court-ordered proceedings. The Daily News says that Perez is believed to be living and pitching in the Dominican Republic.

The all-female jury of six took less than an hour to decide on damages against Perez.

"It's certainly a clear statement regarding professional athletes and this type of behavior," McQuillin's lawyer, Steven Savolla, told the Daily News. "My client feels a tremendous amount of vindication and relief. This was a long process."

Perez has 30 days to appeal the decision. But his lawyers have withdrawn from the case after Perez stopped communicating with them. Collecting the damages may be a long and laborious process.

With Perez apparently out of the United States, the only recourse McQuillin has is to seize any U.S. assets he still possesses.

"We're in the process of determining exactly what his U.S. assets are," Savolla told the Daily News.

Perez spent three seasons with the Dodgers after he was traded by the Expos in 1998. He was relased in 2001 and has not pitched in the majors since.