Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who remains on administrative leave under MLB’s domestic violence policy while legal proceedings play out, agreed to a negotiated resolution that will see him enter a domestic violence intervention program, Shaddi Abusaid of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Ozuna will be under six months of supervision, will participate in a 24-week family violence intervention program, will complete 200 or more hours of community service and will be required to go through anger-management counseling as well as a psychological evaluation as part of the agreement. It’s possible that the supervision period could be shortened to three months, if Ozuna meets all other requirements.
Felony charges against Ozuna were dropped in early August, but prosecutors still brought forth a pair of misdemeanor charges: family violence battery and simple assault. Both carried a potential sentence of up to one year of jail time. Now, should Ozuna complete the diversion program and the other measures agreed upon in today’s negotiated resolution, all criminal charges against him could be dropped. His next court date is set for Jan. 13.
Ozuna, 30, was arrested in late May after police responded to a domestic disturbance. Court filings at the time indicated that the responding officers saw Ozuna place his hands around his wife’s neck, throw her against a wall and strike her with the cast that was on his hand. (Ozuna had recently dislocated two fingers during a game.) Sandy Springs police sergeant Sal Ortega confirmed the witnessing of those events in an emailed statement, per Abusaid’s report.
Even if criminal charges against Ozuna are ultimately dropped, he could still face a suspension from Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred’s office. The league is currently performing its own investigation, and there are numerous instances of suspensions under the domestic violence policy even in the absence of criminal charges.
Ozuna appeared in 48 games for the Braves this season. He’s in the first season of a four-year, $65MM contract signed as a free agent this past winter but would not be paid during a suspension under the league’s domestic violence policy.