With a day to process, more details are trickling out about the allegations that Carlos Marmol assaulted a woman in the Dominican Republic. All credit to the Tribune and the Sun-Times for digging in and finding out as much as they can – remember, traditional media is still very good at some things, and this is in their wheelhouse. The following updated bits of data come from this Tribune piece, and this Sun-Times piece, together with my own – very sensitive and caveat-filled – synthesis:
- The alleged assault took place in October during (technically after) a public festival organized around a big basketball game, at which Marmol was a guest of honor.
- An investigator in the DR says Marmol and his accuser knew each other, but were not in a relationship. They met in a bar, and the alleged assault took place thereafter. If this sounds familiar, it should – the story last year when Starlin Castro was accused of sexual sounded very similar, both in events and timeline.
- The same investigator, with whom the Tribune spoke, says they are continuing to investigate, “but as of right now there is not enough evidence to say that [Marmol] was involved in this.”
- The Sun-Times also cites a source who says local authorities already investigated the incident, and did not turn up enough evidence to bring charges.
- Although the DR has not brought charges, there is a hearing in the matter scheduled for February 8 – one week from today. I’m assuming, then, that this is presently a civil matter, and would not have any bearing on Marmol’s availability to play this year. Marmol’s attorney has filed a counterclaim for extortion.
- Marmol’s attorney, Nelson Pimental, denies the allegations as strongly as possible: “Carlos Marmol is totally innocent of the things he is accused of. They never occurred. She is only trying to get money out of Carlos Marmol. It is very important for us to say the legal case against him is not true.”
- Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein responded to each publication with the same appropriate response: “We became aware of these media reports [Thursday] and are actively looking into the matter. We’ll withhold further comment until we have more information.” The Cubs became aware of the reports just yesterday, but hopefully they had already long been apprised of the issue.
So, that’s where we are right now. I’d like to know a bit more about this February 8th hearing. Obviously law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but if this is akin to a civil case in the United States, then the closest approximation we’d have for such an early hearing would be an evaluation of whether the claimant has stated a legally sufficiently claim against Marmol* – the evidence wouldn’t really be examined so early in the process. If that’s true, we may not learn a whole lot more about the case next week, unless the whole thing is tossed.
I have a feeling, though, that the whole process for this kind of case in the DR is considerably different from how things would go in the United States, so there may not be much to be gleaned from trying to draw parallels. We’ll just see what happens. Tentatively, based on the details we have so far, things don’t look too bad for Marmol just yet.
*(Ease up on me, law dogs: essentially, I’m talking about a motion to dismiss, which is what you’d see happening in the first 30 days or so after a suit was filed, but which wouldn’t involve a hearing so quickly. I’m just trying to draw a relatable parallel for the non-lawyers among the readership.)