Two Colorado Rockies minor leaguers have been charged with two counts each of first degree rape and first degree sex offense, reports Clarke Morrison of the Asheville Citizen-Times. A judge told them they could face life in prison without parole.
The players, 23-year-old left-hander Michael Mason and 23-year-old right-hander Jesse Meaux, are required to stay in Buncombe County pending further court orders. Both players have hired an attorney and Meaux was released on $100,000 bond. The judge set an Aug. 23 court date for the two men.
The incident involved one woman and occurred in the early morning hours on Saturday at the players' apartment. Both play for the Asheville Tourists, Colorado's Low Class-A affiliate. They have been suspended and the Rockies released a statement:
"The Colorado Rockies and their affiliate, the Asheville Tourists, are aware of the arrests and the very serious allegations made against two players, Michael Mason and Jesse Meaux. Each organization is shocked and deeply concerned about the allegations. At this time, the players have been suspended as the investigation and legal process continue.
"We are working with the authorities investigating the circumstances and issues surrounding the events and are awaiting further details and findings. Given that this is an ongoing legal investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment or speculate any further."
Mason had a 3.38 ERA in 29 1/3 relief innings before the arrest. Meaux had a 0.90 ERA in 20 relief innings and has been on the DL since May 24. Neither player was considered a top prospect by Baseball America, but prospect status is completely irrelevant right now.