Familia pleads not guilty in domestic violence case

Baseball Mets All-Star reliever Jeurys Familia pleaded not guilty Thursday in Fort Lee, N.J., to a simple assault charge, his first appearance in court since an Oct. 31 complaint alleged that the closer caused "bodily injury to another" in what has been described as a domestic violence incident. Police observed a scratch on the chest and a bruise on the right cheek of the victim, whose name was redacted. The presiding judge said Thursday that the maximum penalty that Familia could face is six months in jail, a $1,000 fine and two years of probation. MORE: proves it's progressive, not irrational on domestic violenceNewsday speculated that because the no-contact condition was removed between Familia and the victim, the defense and prosecutors will likely try to work on a plea deal. While a court decision or settlement could come before the end of the year,  commissioner Rob Manfred said it would take time for his office to complete an investigation into Familia under its domestic violence policy. "I think that it is usually difficult for us to complete our investigation before the criminal process has run its course," Manfred told reporters Wednesday. "We have the luxury of not being on the field right now, and we're going to take advantage of that."Familia, who led M

LB with 51 saves in 2015, is due back in court Dec. 15.