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Ex-Tiger pleads no contest to assault

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Detroit — Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Evan Reed entered a plea of no contest to misdemeanor aggravated assault Friday in exchange for prosecutors dropping two sexual assault charges.

Evan Reed, who was in court Friday before Wayne Circuit Judge Shannon Walker, faced two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Reed’s plea agreement calls for a sentence of probation, with terms to be set by the judge, according to his attorneys. The criminal sexual conduct charges carried a 15-year maximum penalty.

Sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 7, but attorneys indicated they would try to have Reed sentenced sooner. He was ordered Friday to have no contact with the victim.

Reed and his attorneys declined to comment after the brief hearing.

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 insisted he and the woman had consensual sex.

At a hearing last month, Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Suzette Samuels said no plea bargain offer was on the table at that time.

A previous stay of proceedings was lifted after the Michigan Court of Appeals declined to hear Reed’s petition to overturn reinstatement of rape charges that were dropped in November. District Judge Kenneth King on Nov. 21 dismissed the charges. Four days later, Criminal Division Judge Michael Callahan reversed King’s ruling and remanded the case back to 36th District Court.

Defense attorney Ben Gonek has said Reed is training and working out daily in California. At least three baseball teams have asked about the case, he said. Gonek declined to name the teams that have contacted him but added the Tigers were not one of them.

Reed is a free agent after pitching for the Tigers and their Triple-A team in Toledo last season.

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