Hearing on rape charges for Ex-Tiger Reed delayed
Detroit — A final conference hearing on rape charges against former Detroit Tigers pitcher Evan Reed has been adjourned until Thursday after Reed failed to appear.
His attorney, Ben Gonek, said it was his mistake to advise Reed that he didn't need to be present in the Wayne County Circuit courtroom Friday, prompting the adjournment by Judge Shannon Walker. Reed was in California on Friday.
Reed is charged with two counts third-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carry a 15-year maximum penalty. A not-guilty plea was entered March 13 by Walker on Reed's behalf. Reed has been allowed to travel back and forth from Michigan to his home state of California.
Meanwhile, a stay of proceedings was lifted Friday after the Michigan Court of Appeals on Tuesday declined to hear Reed's petition to overturn reinstatement of rape charges that were dropped in November.
"They just said that they didn't believe appellate review was warranted at this time," Gonek said. "They declined to take it up."
District Judge Kenneth King on Nov. 21 dismissed the charges against Reed. Four days later, Criminal Division Judge Michael Callahan reversed King's ruling and remanded the case back to 36th District Court.
Gonek said they are considering appealing to the Michigan Supreme Court but "there is a substantial likelihood" they will let the case proceed to trial.
"We have 42 days (to consider) whether or not to appeal, but Mr. Reed really wants to get this case behind him," Gonek said Friday after the adjourned hearing. "He's very confident that if he goes to trial, he will win."
In the case, a woman in her mid-40s claimed Reed, 29, met her in the Fifth Avenue Bar in Royal Oak on March 29, 2014, slipped something into her drink and later took her to his sixth-floor hotel room at the MotorCity Casino hotel in Detroit. The woman said Reed raped her the next morning, a day before the Tigers opened their season.
Reed insists he and the woman had consensual sex.
Trial is scheduled for late August, Gonek said.
"Evan wants to get this behind him as soon as possible so that he can resume his baseball career," Gonek said.
Gonek said Reed is training and working out daily in California. At least three baseball teams have reached out with questions on the case, he said.
"They've contacted me asking me what the status of the case is, and while the case is pending, they just have no interest in him," Gonek said.
He declined to name the teams that have contacted him but added the Tigers were not one of them.
"I understand (the Tigers) may have been in contact with (Reed)," Gonek said. "But there's been three other organizations other than the Tigers that have been in contact with me."
Gonek said Reed has the talent to return to Major League Baseball.
"Frankly, with his talent level, he's certainly more talented than some of the relievers the Tigers currently have," Gonek said.
Reed is a free agent after pitching for the Tigers and their Triple-A team in Toledo last season.