(MCT) — A lawyer for Carlos Marmol said Thursday that the Cubs closer is innocent of an abuse accusation made by attorneys for a 24-year-old woman in the Dominican Republic.
Miledys Mejia Cepeda filed a criminal complaint Wednesday against Marmol.
Nelson Pimentel, Marmol's attorney, denied the allegation and told the Tribune he has filed a counter complaint, accusing the woman of trying to extort and blackmail Marmol.
"Carlos Marmol is totally innocent of the things he is accused of," Pimentel said. "They never occurred. She is only trying to get money out of Carlos Marmol. It is very important for us to say the legal case against him is not true."
Cubs President Theo Epstein said the team was not aware of the alleged assault, which the accuser said occurred Oct. 28 in Sonador, about 100 miles northwest of the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo.
"We became aware of these media reports today and are actively looking into the matter," Epstein said in an email. "We'll withhold further comment until we have more information."
A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 8, three days before the start of Cubs' spring training in Arizona. Whether the matter will affect his arrival is unknown.
Pimentel said Marmol is in Sonador working "intensely" with a personal trainer and will be with the Cubs when spring training begins.
"Carlos is relaxed and confident," Pimentel said.
The Cubs went through a similar incident last winter when a Chicago woman accused shortstop Starlin Castro of sexual assault. Charges were never filed against Castro.
Pimentel said the accuser and Marmol both hail from the area of Sonador and Bonao.
Francisca Fabian, a government investigator in the case, said they are continuing to look into the accusation.
"But as of right now there is not enough evidence to say that he was involved in this," Fabian said in a telephone interview.
Fabian said the alleged assault took place while the town was celebrating the opening of a basketball tournament. Marmol was the guest of honor, and Fabian said the whole town was out in the streets.
Fabian said the accuser and Marmol knew each other but were not in a relationship. They saw each other at a bar, and Mejia told Fabian the alleged assault and kidnapping occurred after that. Fabian also interviewed Marmol and said Cubs' pitcher "totally denies it."
Paul Kinzer, Marmol's agent, did not return calls Thursday.