Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias will not face criminal charges arising out of his recent arrest, Richard Winton and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The decision to “defer prosecution” was announced by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office.
That determination is not absolute. As stated in an official press release, Urias could be prosecuted if he fails to meet three conditions: “(1) that Mr. Urias participate in a City Attorney hearing; (2) that he commit no acts of violence against anyone; and 3) that he successfully participate in and complete a 52 week domestic violence counseling program in person, and in a group setting.” That counseling will take place in two-hour sessions once a week and will occur during the current baseball season.
Notably, as part of the counseling, Urias will be required (among other things) to “accept responsibility for the abusive behavior perpetrated against the victim.” The city attorney’s office stated that the decision not to prosecute was based upon the lack of injury, the fact that the alleged victim never characterized herself in that manner, and Urias’s lack of a prior criminal history. The L.A. Times report also indicates that there were variances between witness accounts of a shoving and the statements of the alleged victim, who said that she fell.
From a baseball perspective, the matter is still not resolved. Urias was previously reinstated from the inactive list, but the commissioner’s office made clear that its investigation has yet to be concluded. The city attorney’s statements seem to suggest there may be evidence that Urias violated the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. That policy provides the commissioner with broad authority to issue appropriate discipline regardless of whether a crime was charged or prosecuted by relevant legal authorities. Findings under the league policy would also be subject to different standards from those of a criminal case.