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K-Rod officially charged with criminal contempt

Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez settled his grievance with

Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez settled his grievance with the team over a suspension stemming from a postgame fight he had with his girlfriend's father. (Sept. 22, 2010) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Francisco Rodriguez now faces the possibility of a maximum of two years in jail after seven counts of second-degree criminal contempt were added Wednesday to the other charges already stemming from the domestic violence incident inside the Citi Field family room on Aug. 11.

The latest charge brought by the Queens district attorney's office comes in response to Rodriguez allegedly violating his order of protection by sending 56 unanswered text messages to his fiancee, Daian Peña. The Mets closer surrendered to police at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday and was arrested for the second time in six weeks.

Rodriguez appeared in Queens Criminal Court and showed no emotion during his 12-minute arraignment as assistant district attorney Scott Kessler described him as "manipulating and controlling."

Rodriguez was released after posting $7,500 bail and did not respond to questions as he left the courthouse at 12:25 p.m. He also faces third-degree assault and second-degree harassment charges in connection with his alleged attack on Carlos Peña, the grandfather of his children, after last month's game.

Rodriguez's attorney, Christopher Booth, previously had argued in court that Rodriguez was "naive" about how court orders worked, which he said was why Rodriguez sent the 56 text messages looking to negotiate a solution with his fiancee on their own.

But Kessler told Judge Ira. H. Margulis during the arraignment that Rodriguez had to be familiar with orders of protections because Daian Peña had issued one against Rodriguez in Venezuela in 2005. Outside the courthouse, Booth dismissed the relevance of that case, saying, "It is dated and it is old and there is no comparison between the Venezuela system and our own."

Kessler also told the judge that Rodriguez made a point of mentioning in one of his first text messages on Aug. 19 that he realizes that "this message could get me in trouble."

Kessler requested that bail be set at $25,000, which Booth suggested afterward was an "excessive" request because of Rodriguez's celebrity status.

Rodriguez, whose next hearing is Oct. 7, is on the disqualified list because the Mets contend he tore a ligament in his hand during the alleged fight with Carlos Peña. Rodriguez had surgery to repair the ligament last month.

Even though the Mets are attempting to make his contract non-guaranteed and not pay him for the time missed because of this injury, Booth said Rodriguez wants to return to the Mets next season.

"If we can resolve the issues with the Mets, he can be an asset to the Mets going forward," Booth said, "and he looks to make it up to the fans and everyone in this case."

Booth added that Rodriguez has been attending anger management classes.


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