Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna agreed to enter a diversion program that could result in his domestic violence case being dismissed in court.
Ozuna accepted the pre-trial ruling on Thursday, more than three months after he was arrested on assault charges for allegedly assaulting his wife. He faces misdemeanor charges of family battery and simple battery, but Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Simone Hylton announced Thursday that those charges will be dropped if Ozuna meets the conditions of the resolution within six months.
Ozuna was placed under six-month supervision and must undergo a 24-week family violence intervention program, which includes an anger management course and a psychological evaluation component, according to Hylton. He must also complete 200 hours of community service, refrain from using illegal drugs, and avoid any contact with his wife.
Hylton also said the six-month supervision would end after three months if Ozuna completes all the requirements early.
“Hopefully once it’s finished, I won’t see you again,” Fulton County Magistrate Judge Brandy Brooks told Ozuna through a call from Zoom, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ozuna’s next court appearance is scheduled for January 13. His attorney, Michael LaScala, told the Journal-Constitution that the pretrial diversion program is a “fair resolution for both the state and my client.”
Ozuna, 30, was arrested May 29 after police officers in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs said they saw him attack his wife, Genesis, as officers responded to a 911 call. The original charges they included aggravated battery by strangulation, but prosecutors dropped the felony charge in July.
LaScala said Thursday that Ozuna should never have been charged with a felony and told the Journal-Constitution that the gardener “is looking forward to putting this behind him.”
Ozuna could still face a lengthy suspension from Major League Baseball, which is reviewing his case under the joint domestic violence policy in place between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association. He re-signed with Atlanta after a stellar first season with the Braves in 2020, and agreed to a four-year, $ 65 million deal.
Ozuna has not played since injuring his fingers in a game against Boston on May 25, four days before his arrest. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 28.