Saturday 1 October 2016

No bail for rocker on rape charge

Published 01/07/2015 | 02:41

Journey drummer Deen Castronovo has been charged with rape, two weeks after a domestic violence arrest (Marion County Sheriff's Office/AP)
Journey drummer Deen Castronovo has been charged with rape, two weeks after a domestic violence arrest (Marion County Sheriff's Office/AP)

Journey drummer Deen Castronovo will remain in an Oregon jail on rape and other charges after prosecutors said he repeatedly breached a court order by calling and texting the alleged victim with messages that included suicide threats and apologies.

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Prosecutors told a Marion County judge that the 50-year-old musician contacted the woman after his arrest in Salem on June 14, when he was accused of misdemeanour assault and menacing. He was released on bail in that case and ordered to stay away from her.

He now faces felony charges after a grand jury returned the indictment.

Marion County judge Audrey Broyles declined bail after prosecutors said Castronovo texted the woman 122 times and called her 35 times. They argued that he presented a threat to her if he was released.

Marion County deputy district attorney Jennifer Gardiner said Castronovo acknowledged his abuse in the texts and even told the woman to get a restraining order. Castronovo, "quite frankly, is unstable", Ms Gardiner said.

"In some of those messages he was screaming at her that he hated her, that she was ruining his life."

Castronovo has not entered a plea to the charges, which include assault, sexual abuse and unlawful use of a dangerous weapon. The drummer appeared in court wearing a padded vest and looked downward as prosecutors described the allegations against him.

Castronovo's lawyer Jeffrey Jones asked the court to consider the minimum bail, telling Judge Broyles to "look at the past history of whom Mr Castronovo has been for 50 years".

Mr Jones said two weeks ago that his client was deeply saddened by the accusations of domestic violence and was confident that no criminal conduct occurred.

In 2012 Castronovo was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and ordered to attend anger-management classes after a domestic violence episode.

He has been with Journey since 1998, when he replaced Steve Smith, the drummer on the US rock group's best-known songs, including Don't Stop Believin'.

Journey's Facebook page still lists Castronovo as their drummer, though his legal woes have him sitting out of their shows. The band are due to play in Provo, Utah, on July 4.

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