D.A. spokesman said victim OK with plea

Updated: November 29, 2004, 7:33 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Former Florida Marlins catcher Ramon Castro pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor indecent assault charge on Monday and will serve a year on probation, ending a criminal case that began when a woman accused him of raping her.

Ramon Castro

Castro, 28, appeared in Allegheny County Court with his wife and defense attorneys to enter the plea.

Pittsburgh police filed felony charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault and unlawful restraint against Castro. The woman, then 28, reported that Castro raped her on Aug. 28, 2003 in his hotel room while the Marlins were in Pittsburgh to play the Pirates.

Castro, who became a free agent last month, apologized to his wife, family and the victim. His no contest plea doesn't mean he acknowledges wrongdoing, only that he has opted not to contest the single misdemeanor charge in court. The other charges were dismissed in return for his plea.

"I should have never had any contact with the victim. I apologize to her for any misunderstanding," Castro said.

A spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office suggested the victim, who didn't speak to reporters, was satisfied with the plea agreement.

"Any time you have a case involving any sort of sexual assault and you can resolve that case satisfactorily to all parties involved, that's what this office will do -- and that's what happened in this case," spokesman Mike Manko said.

Castro' lawyer J. Alan Johnson, a former U.S. Attorney who prosecuted Pittsburgh-based cocaine dealing in baseball in the 1980s, didn't immediately return a call Monday.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press