Long-time baseball writer Jonah Keri received a 21 month jail sentence on Wednesday after pleading guilty to assault, death threats, and criminal harassment. Keri’s ex-wife and a minor were the ones victimized.
Per CTV, Keri’s defense sought no jail time for his crimes, while the prosecution was seeking 12 months in jail plus probation.
Keri pleaded guilty last August to the charges, telling the court that he was sorry for his actions, but admitted his apologies were “meaningless” because “the cycle of violence continued.”
In a victim impact statement at a sentencing hearing last year, his wife described her marriage to Keri — just shy of one year — as a nightmare.
“To this day, I feel compelled to avoid confrontation at any cost, no matter who it is with,” she said at the time. “Because of Mr. Keri’s actions, I lost myself.”
Keri was initially arrested in July of 2019, with employers The Athletic, Draft Kings, and Sportsnet all cutting ties with him. He was arrested again that November, and eight new charges were added to the four he was already facing.
Per the Montreal Gazette, the judge’s sentencing was not swayed by letters of support written for Keri.
Keri presented more than a dozen letters of support when sentencing arguments were made in January. But the judge said the letters had little impact on his decision.
“Several describe how they were shocked when they found out about the charges because they did not believe the offender was capable of such violent behaviour towards a spouse. That statement leads to three troubling observations. First, it shows how the offender is able to construct an image of himself that is very different from reality,” the judge said while reading from his 20-page decision. “Next, one wonders who would have believed the victim if she had not carefully documented the violent incidents. Finally, (the letters) are also a perfect illustration of the insidious nature of conjugal violence; it is a tragedy experienced in private by women from all walks of life that is unfortunately all too infrequently reported.”
Last August, he pleaded guilty to “five counts of assault, threats of death or bodily harm and criminal harassment against his wife and a minor.”