Castro facing term of up to 40 years

PITTSBURGH -- Florida Marlins catcher Ramon Castro was
ordered Wednesday to stand trial on charges he raped a woman in his
hotel room in August.

A magistrate made the ruling after Castro's accuser testified
during a preliminary hearing. The 28-year-old woman said she met
Castro at the hotel's bar after a game between the Marlins and the
Pittsburgh Pirates.

She said she went to his room with another couple in the early
morning hours of Aug. 28, and that Castro asked the other couple to
leave, then attacked her.

Castro's attorney, J. Alan Johnson, said his client is innocent
and that hotel surveillance tapes will eventually prove that.
Castro was allowed to remain free until trial, which wasn't
immediately scheduled.

Castro, a 27-year-old married father of two, was arrested after
the woman went to police with her story. He was charged with rape,
involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, sexual
assault and unlawful restraint.

The rape charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 to 40 years in
prison, though under state sentencing guidelines it's unlikely
Castro would receive such a sentence if he were convicted.

Johnson said he has hired investigators to review the case and
said the "time element" of the woman's accusations was crucial.

A third-string catcher used mostly as a pinch hitter, Castro hit
.283 with 5 home runs and 8 RBI in just 53 at-bats last season. He
didn't play during the World Series, which the Marlins won after
beating the New York Yankees.