NEW YORK (AP) -Former Seattle Mariners reliever Julio Mateo pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of beating his wife in a Manhattan hotel.
The 30-year-old player pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and disorderly conduct, admitting he hit Santa Martina Sanchez on May 5, 2007. In exchange for the plea, Mateo was spared jail and sentenced to a domestic abuse program.
Mateo's wife told police the pitcher punched her in the eye, choked her and bit her lip, causing a large cut that required at least five stitches, according to a criminal complaint.
Criminal Court Judge Larry Stephen told Mateo that if he completes the domestic abuse program, he will be allowed to withdraw the assault plea and only the disorderly conduct plea will remain.
Mateo's lawyer, James Koenig, said the program most likely will last a few months. If Mateo fails to complete it, he could be sentenced to a year in jail.
Mateo, a native of the Dominican Republic, was 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in nine games for Seattle. Shortly after his arrest in May, the Mariners demoted him to their Triple-A club in Tacoma, Wash., and then suspended him for 10 days without pay.
The Mariners traded Mateo to Philadelphia in July for a minor league shortstop. The Phillies sent Mateo to their Double-A team in Reading, Pa., and never brought him back to the majors before releasing him this month.
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