Former Major League Baseball player Josh Hamilton is facing a felony charge of injuring a child following allegations that he was violent with his teenage daughter.
Hamilton, 38, turned himself in at the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, Texas on Wednesday and was charged with the third-degree felony, ESPN reports. He was released after posting $35,000 bond.
Hamilton’s 14-year-old daughter told police that on Sept. 30, her father threw a bottle at her, hitting her in the chest, after she said something that upset him, according to an affidavit written by a detective with the Keller Police Department and obtained by ESPN. She said that Hamilton then allegedly began yelling and cursing at her before taking a chair she was resting her feet on, throwing it and breaking it. Hamilton is alleged to have grabbed his daughter by the shoulder and lifted her from the chair; when she fell to the floor, he allegedly picked her back up again, put her over his shoulder, and carried her to her bedroom, according to the report. The girl told authorities that she'd begun apologizing to Hamilton by that point, but he allegedly threw her onto the bed and pushed her face into the mattress, and began hitting her legs with both an open hand and a closed fist, per the report.
Once Hamilton stopped hitting her, he then said to her, “I hope you go in front of the f--king judge and tell him what a terrible dad I am so I don't have to see you anymore and you don't have to come to my house again,” according to the affidavit.
On his way out of the room, Hamilton allegedly told the child to get her school things together, at which point she told him that she’d already put her stuff in his car; Hamilton then allegedly responded, “Well, aren't you just the perfect child."
Police began investigating Hamilton after the girl told her mother, Hamilton’s ex-wife Katie Hamilton, about what allegedly happened, The Dallas Morning News reports. Katie Hamilton, who shares three daughters with her ex-husband, requested a protective order against Hamilton for the child earlier this month, according to court records obtained by the outlet.
Daniel Lewis and Thomas Ashworth, attorneys for Hamilton, told the paper that Hamilton is “is innocent of the charge against him and looks forward to clearing his name in court.”
During his Major League career, Hamilton played for the Cincinnati Reds, the Texas Rangers, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but he struggled frequently with alcohol and drug abuse. He made his last appearance on the field in 2015, and was inducted into the Rangers’ Hall of Fame earlier this year.
The Rangers addressed the situation in a statement obtained by ESPN.
“The Texas Rangers take the issue of family violence very seriously. We are aware of the situation involving Josh Hamilton. Since this is an ongoing legal matter, we have no further comment,” that statement reads.
If convicted, Hamilton stands to be sentenced to a minimum of two years and a maximum of 10 years behind bars, according to ESPN.
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