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.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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