Former Brewers relief pitcher pleads not guilty to battery charge

Francisco Rodriguez in court (11-12-12)

Francisco Rodriguez in court (11-12-12)

WAUKESHA — Former Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez made his initial appearance in court Monday morning, November 12th for a misdemeanor battery charge for an alleged incident involving his girlfriend.

During the court appearance, Rodriguez entered a plea of not guilty and was released on a $1000 signature bond. Rodriquez is due back in court December 19th.

The charge was filed after police were called to a home in the Village of Wales on September 18th because a woman called police indicating she was being abused.

The complaint indicates when authorities arrived on the scene, they met Rodriguez at the door who allow them inside. Officials searched the building and found the alleged victim sitting in a closet with a cell phone up to her head. When asked if she was the one who called police, she nodded.

In the complaint, the victim told police Rodriguez had been “very angry and upset lately.” When she confronted him about this, he “became so upset that he struck her with his fist on the right side of her head.” The victim’s nose began to bleed after the blow. She also indicated she gets nosebleeds “due to a history of physical abuse and being struck in the head.”

The complaint says when the victim grabbed a sweatshirt to try and stop the bleeding, “the defendant then grabbed her by the hair and threw her.” While she was on the floor, the complaint indicates Rodriguez kicked her, causing injuries to her shoulder blade, her upper thigh and her left wrist area.

Then, the victim was reportedly dragged to the car and Rodriguez drove around, arguing with her, and then allegedly punched her in the chin.

The two later returned to the house, and that’s when the woman called police.

In the complaint, Rodriguez told police the victim accused him of “messing around” on her. He indicated the victim “pushed me and I pushed her back and we forced into each other.”

The alleged victim in the case reportedly recanted her story a couple days after telling law enforcement of being attacked. That’s why Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel says charging Rodriguez was somewhat difficult.

“I take a look at the individual circumstances and try to assess is the recantation more credible or is the original information more credible. After listening to the 911 dispatch recording, after observing the photographs of the injuries that officers saw that night, I think the original version was more credible,” Schimel said.

Because the victim recanted her original statement, Schimel could face challenges winning a conviction.

“I felt the circumstances of the case were warranted, combined with the history he has. I felt that put me in a position where the best answer was for me to file charges. I acknowledge that I have a potential weakness here,” Schimel said.

If convicted of the charge, Rodriguez faces up to nine months in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Rodriguez was with the Brewers for the past year-and-a-half, but became a free agent when his contract expired at the end of the season.

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