Blue Jays pitcher will plead not guilty in assault case, lawyer says

Blue Jays pitcher will plead not guilty in assault case, lawyer says

June 18, 2018 0 By news club

Kayla Goodfield, CTV News Toronto

Published Monday, June 18, 2018 6:22AM EDT

Last Updated Monday, June 18, 2018 3:49PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna will plead not guilty in connection with an alleged assault that took place in May, according to his lawyer.

Criminal defence lawyer Domenic Basile spoke to reporters outside of the courtroom after appearing on behalf of his client on Monday.

“Osuna is looking forward to coming back and playing baseball,” Basile said. “He wants to play with the Toronto Blue Jays. He loves the Toronto Blue Jays but he respects the fact that there is a court process and also there is a process with Major League Baseball so he is going to continue to work out and throw the ball and be ready to come back when he’s authorized to play through Major League Baseball and obviously we are going to try to deal with this court matter as efficiently as possible.”

Osuna, 23, was arrested on May 8 in connection with an alleged domestic incident that took place earlier in the month.

Following his arrest, Major League Baseball (MLB) placed the pitcher on administrative leave under the MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy while an investigation was conducted into the allegation. That leave was initially supposed to be in place for a seven-day period but has since been extended on five occasions.

MLB spokesperson Michael Teevan said as of now, Osuna’s administrative leave is effective through Monday but the league could opt to extend it again.

“We have not yet announced his status after that but I expect we’ll have more information later today,” Teevan said in an email sent to CP24.

Basile said he anticipates the leave will be extended a further week.

“With matters like this sometimes they will wait until the criminal proceeding is finished and sometimes they won’t,” he said. “I anticipate they will in this case but there are ongoing discussions with Major League Baseball and with the players association that also have representatives for Osuna.”

During his leave, which includes pay, Basile said Osuna has been back and forth between Toronto and the Blue Jays’ training facility in Florida.

“He’s very anxious to get back to playing baseball,” Basile said.

Before the next scheduled court appearance, Basile said he plans to meet with the Crown Attorney for a pre-trial meeting.

“A lot has to be discussed,” he said. “This is the kind of case that takes time, it doesn’t resolve overnight so I’m going to be meeting with the Crown and it may take more than one meeting but I’m going to move as efficiently as I can.”

Speaking about the case, CP24’s crime specialist Steve Ryan said “they want to get this done quickly.”

“Anytime you have a defense council stand out front of the courthouse after a first appearance and discuss an early resolution, which does not include pleading guilty, what they’re referring to is a resolution to involve a withdrawal of the charge in exchange for somebody going for counselling, taking anger management classes, agreeing to stay away from the victim,” he said. “Those are the sort of things that he’s referring to, those are the resolutions that he will bring to the table when they meet with the Crown.”

Osuna’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 9.

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