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Roberto Osuna's lawyer says his client will plead not guilty

Last Updated Aug 1, 2018 at 7:31 pm EDT

A lawyer for former Toronto Blue Jays’ pitcher Roberto Osuna, who is facing an assault charge, is taking issue with recent comments from the general manager of his client’s new team, the Houston Astros.

The 23-year-old Osuna was arrested in May and charged in connection with an alleged domestic incident.

The pitcher was traded to the Houston Astros on Monday and the team’s general manager said the club is “confident that Osuna is remorseful, has wilfully complied with all consequences related to his past behaviour” and has proactively engaged in counselling.

Osuna’s lawyer, Domenic Basile, says his client is remorseful of the circumstances of the situation — which include being traded and a 75-game suspension — but plans to plead not guilty.

Osuna’s court case has been put over to Sept. 5 after a brief hearing on Wednesday where he was represented by his lawyer.

The pitcher was suspended without pay for 75 games in June for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy and is eligible to pitch in the big leagues starting Sunday.

“I think he’s remorseful that the circumstances are what they are,” Basile said. “But at the end of the day in the criminal court … his intention is to plead not guilty.”

Basile said he is working toward having the Crown consider a peace bond in Osuna’s case, which could lead to the assault charge being withdrawn.

“Of course it would be nice to have the criminal charge finished and dealt with before he goes on the baseball field, but the criminal justice system can be a bit slow,” Basile said. “The Crown and I agreed that September 5 would be day that hopefully it can get resolved.”

Basile added that he spoke to Osuna a day earlier and said his client is in “good spirits.”

“He remains positive,” he said. “He is somewhat emotional because he loves Toronto and he had no real say on if he was going to be traded or not.”

Osuna has not pitched in the majors since May 6, two days before he was put on administrative leave when the assault charge was laid in Toronto.