D.A. spokesman said victim OK with plea

PITTSBURGH -- Former Florida Marlins catcher Ramon Castro pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor indecent assault charge on
Monday and will serve a year on probation, ending a criminal case
that began when a woman accused him of raping her.

Castro, 28, appeared in Allegheny County Court with his wife and
defense attorneys to enter the plea.

Pittsburgh police filed felony charges of rape, involuntary
deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault and unlawful restraint
against Castro. The woman, then 28, reported that Castro raped her
on Aug. 28, 2003 in his hotel room while the Marlins were in
Pittsburgh to play the Pirates.

Castro, who became a free agent last month, apologized to his
wife, family and the victim. His no contest plea doesn't mean he
acknowledges wrongdoing, only that he has opted not to contest the
single misdemeanor charge in court. The other charges were
dismissed in return for his plea.

"I should have never had any contact with the victim. I
apologize to her for any misunderstanding," Castro said.

A spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office
suggested the victim, who didn't speak to reporters, was satisfied
with the plea agreement.

"Any time you have a case involving any sort of sexual assault
and you can resolve that case satisfactorily to all parties
involved, that's what this office will do -- and that's what
happened in this case," spokesman Mike Manko said.

Castro' lawyer J. Alan Johnson, a former U.S. Attorney who
prosecuted Pittsburgh-based cocaine dealing in baseball in the
1980s, didn't immediately return a call Monday.