Balentien to face unlawful entry charge

Kyodo

Wladimur Balentien, who was arrested on charges of domestic violence and false imprisonment in January, will be prosecuted on lesser charges, Tokyo Yakult Swallows president Tsuyoshi Kinugasa revealed Wednesday.

Speaking at the team’s spring training base, Kinugasa revealed that prosecutors in Florida will pursue a charge of unlawful entry instead of the original felony false imprisonment.

Since any court date in his case will be scheduled for after the season, the charges will have no impact on his availability to the team.

“It is regrettable,” Kinugasa said. “He himself insists on his innocence and we will be following the developments.”

Balentien, who set Japan’s single-season home run record with 60 last season and was named the Central League’s MVP, is currently free on bail and was granted permission to travel to Japan to prepare for the season.