For Torii Hunter, it was a no-brainer. Without hesitation, the Los Angeles Angels outfielder flew to Dallas Thursday to be with his son, Darius, and the family’s lawyers at a news conference to refute charges that his son committed sexual assault on a juvenile.
“As far as we know, it’s Torii’s decision to stay until this matter reaches a point where it’s resolved or under control,” attorney Todd Shapiro said. “He reiterated that he’s a father first and baseball, as important as it is to him, is second.”
Shapiro added that it could be more than a little while before Hunter rejoins his team. He also said he has a secretly recorded conversation of the alleged victim recanting her testimony. The 17-year-old Darius Hunter is charged with sexually assaulting a child, a second-degree felony. He was arrested Monday along with three juveniles and another 17-year-old, Garrick White.
Shapiro said the alleged victim called a family friend of the Hunters to say she was not sexually assaulted by Darius Hunter during the incident, which allegedly took place in a closet at a Prosper, Texas, home last month.
The Collin County district attorney’s office did not immediately return a phone call from ESPNLosAngeles.com seeking comment. Meanwhile, the Angels left Thursday evening on a 10-game road trip not knowing when they will get back their starting right fielder who is batting .256 with five home runs and 15 RBIs.
“From today, I don’t think it’s going to be weeks,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s going to get whatever time he needs to feel comfortable enough to come back and play baseball.”