The lawyer for Roberto Osuna, the 23-year-old Houston Astros reliever who has been charged with allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, is actively contradicting the statement the Astros released after his Monday trade from the Toronto Blue Jays. While the Astros said Osuna is “remorseful,” attorney Domenic Basile said that his client isn’t remorseful of any of the actions he’s being accused of because he plans to plead not guilty.
Roberto Osuna is “remorseful of the circumstances”
After representing Osuna at a routine court date in Toronto, Basile spoke with the press to about his client and about whatever “remorse” he might be feeling.
Roberto Osuna's lawyer speaking about the word "remorseful" that was used by the Astros in reference to their new reliever: "My client is not remorseful of being guilty of any criminal activity," Basile said Wednesday. "He's obviously remorseful of the circumstances."
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 2, 2018
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle had more of Basile’s statement about Osuna.
“I would say he is remorseful for the circumstances in which he finds himself,” the attorney said. “He isn’t admitting the allegations. He definitely is remorseful in the sense that the circumstances are what they are.”
Being remorseful of the circumstances boils down to being sorry that this is happening to him. That’s technically remorse, in that he’s sorry has has no control of the situation.
Attorney contradicts the Astros’ statement
The Astros traded for Osuna on Monday, one day before the non-waiver trade deadline. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow released a statement shortly after, which sought to explain, if not justify, why the Astros traded for a reliever who had been accused of putting his hands on a woman.
Jeff Luhnow released the following statement regarding Roberto Osuna: pic.twitter.com/HgsTqgAMHE
— Houston Astros (@astros) July 30, 2018
The phrases at issue are: “We are confident that Osuna is remorseful, has willfully complied with all consequences related to his past behavior…” Essentially, Luhnow is saying that Osuna is sorry for what he did and he accepted the punishment for his past actions willingly. Luhnow’s entire statement was disingenuous at best, but now we know most of that sentence isn’t true. Osuna isn’t remorseful for anything, because he’s pleading not guilty and maintaining he did nothing wrong. The only punishment Osuna has accepted for his “past actions” is from MLB. Osuna accepting that punishment didn’t require him to admit guilt, despite Luhnow wanting to make it seem like he did.
In fact, Luhnow’s desire to paint Osuna as remorseful is why Basile had to clarify with the press. Osuna will be pleading not guilty, but Luhnow’s statement makes it seem like Osuna admitted guilt and is sorry for what he did. Basile made it clear: Osuna did neither of those things.
What’s next for Roberto Osuna?
Osuna is days away from completing the 75-game suspension that commissioner Rob Manfred handed down in June. He hasn’t pitched since May 6, two days before he was arrested by Toronto police and charged with assault. Osuna can officially return on Sunday, and will join the Astros on Friday for their road series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After that, he can pitch for the Astros for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs — receiving a suspension under MLB’s domestic violence policy doesn’t exclude a player from participating in the postseason. However, receiving a PED suspension means a player is not allowed to participate in the playoffs.
Osuna’s next court date is September 5, but Basile said that he hopes to have it resolved sooner. Basile told the Chronicle that he intends to as the Canadian court to issue a peace bond.
Under this arrangement, the defendant posts an amount of money, usually $500 or $1,000, and agrees to certain conditions or restrictions in return for the case’s being resolved.
Possible conditions of a peace bond, according to the Canadian Department of Justice website, include good behavior for no more than 12 months, a ban on weapons possession or alcohol use, and an agreement not to contact the complainant or to stay away from the complainant’s residence.
A peace bond requires agreement from the prosecutors and the complainant, Osuna’s girlfriend. The details of the allegations against Osuna have not been made public, and if a peace bond is granted, they may not be. The decision is up to the judge, who could decide that issuing a peace bond means that the facts of the alleged incident are still in question, and so the accusations should remain private.
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