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Domestic Violence Case Against Mets Pitcher Jeurys Familia Dismissed

FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A judge on Thursday dismissed the domestic violence case against Mets star relief pitcher Jeurys Familia.

Familia pleaded not guilty last month to a simple assault charge in connection with an incident at his Fort Lee, New Jersey apartment in late October. Police said Familia's wife, Bianca Rivas, had a scratch to the chest and bruise to the right cheek.

But during a brief court appearance Thursday, municipal prosecutors told Judge John Desheplo they wanted to dismiss the charge against Familia based on several interviews with his wife.

Through her attorney, Rivas told the court that any scratches found her chest at the day of the alleged incident were from their infant child and not from the Mets' closer.

In New Jersey, domestic violence victims cannot drop charges, CBS2's Raegan Medgie reported. The state must decide.

"The individuals in the case are satisfied that it should be dismissed," the judge said in court. "An investigation and evaluation has been done, a non-cooperating witness,code 6 which is a dismissal for lack of prosecution."

The couple then left court together, saying nothing, 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck reported.

Familia's lawyer, Paul Brickfield, said they were "happy that the case is resolved."

Familia was one of several New York sports figures who appeared in the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence's new "#NotAFan" campaign sponsored by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

In one public service announcement video, Familia said in Spanish: "I am a fan of baseball. I am a fan of the Mets. I am not a fan of domestic violence." All of the ads involving Familia were later pulled.

Though the charge against him has been dropped, Familia still faces a possible suspension from Major League Baseball if he is found to have violated its domestic violence policy.

MLB told CBS2 its investigation is ongoing, and issued the following statement:

"Under our policy, the Commissioner shall have authority to discipline a player who commits an act of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse for just cause. There is no minimum or maximum penalty prescribed under the policy, but rather the Commissioner can issue the discipline he believes is appropriate in light of the severity of the conduct. The Commissioner's authority to discipline is not dependent on whether the player is convicted or pleads guilty to a crime."

Jay Reisinger, the attorney representing Familia in the league's investigation, said "we will handle it in the appropriate course.''

MLB has suspended four players for violating its domestic violence policy, including Mets' teammate Jose Reyes, who received a 52-game ban while he was a member of the Colorado Rockies.

It was not immediately clear if any disciplinary action from the Mets will be taken.

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