Castro will rejoin Marlins on Saturday

Updated: August 29, 2003, 9:39 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Florida Marlins catcher Ramon Castro was released on $25,000 bond Friday, a day after he was charged with raping a woman in his hotel room.

Castro, 27, from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, didn't comment as he walked past reporters outside the Allegheny County Jail shortly after 4 p.m. Friday. He was arrested and charged Thursday night.

Although Castro posted bond after being arraigned early Friday morning, his release was delayed while he underwent a psychiatric evaluation required in all cases in Allegheny County when someone is accused of a sex offense.

Marlins spokesman Steve Copses said that Castro was on his way back to Miami on Friday night and that he would rejoin the team Saturday.

Castro's attorney, former U.S. Attorney J. Alan Johnson, did not return numerous calls for comment to The Associated Press on Friday. A call to the Miami offices of Castro's agent, Jaime Torres, was not returned immediately.

"We're behind Ray 100 percent," third-base coach Ozzie Guillen. "We all know what kind of man he is."

Marlins pitcher Michael Tejera said Castro's teammates have heard no specifics on what allegedly occurred. Several players expressed concern for their teammate, but none had heard from him since Thursday.

"We've just got to wait for the results," Tejera said. "For now, we'll just support him and his family."

A 28-year-old woman said Castro met her at a bar in Pittsburgh's Strip District in the hours after Wednesday night's game between the Marlins and the Pirates, Pittsburgh police Lt. Kevin Kraus said. The woman told police that she, Castro and another couple then went to the Westin Convention Center Hotel downtown, where Castro was staying during his team's three-game series in Pittsburgh, Kraus said.

The woman alleged the assault took place early Thursday in Castro's room after the other couple left, Kraus said. According to court records, the woman told police Castro threw her on a hotel bed, pulled off her clothes and held her down. The woman tried to push Castro away and told him to stop but he continued to sexually assault her, the documents said.

The woman went to a hospital early Thursday morning, and the hospital called police at 5:42 a.m. The woman was treated and released for what Kraus described as minor physical injuries.

After Castro was arrested Thursday evening, Johnson, his lawyer, said the ballplayer was innocent.

"It is difficult today to be a professional athlete. It's difficult when you're charged with this for anyone but especially difficult if you are a professional athlete," Johnson said.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 4.

Speaking from Puerto Rico, Castro's wife, Brenda Castro, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that she had talked with her husband while he was in police custody and that she stood behind him.

"He told me everything. I know he did what is right," she told the newspaper in Spanish.

Castro, who is batting .289 in 45 at-bats in 33 games, made his major league debut with Houston in 1999.

Castro has two daughters.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press

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