Journey Drummer Deen Castronovo Pleads Guilty to Domestic Violence; Rape Charge Dropped
Journey drummer Deen Castronovo has pleaded guilty to two counts of fourth-degree assault by way of domestic violence, two counts of menacing constituting domestic violence, unlawful use of a weapon and coercion.
For his crimes, he has been given a suspended sentence and four years probation. Should Castronovo violate the terms of his probation, he will face a term of five years and five months in prison.
The charges stem from a domestic violence incident that occurred in Salem, Ore., this June. After being bailed out for that crime, Deen was then re-arrested two weeks later and charged with 16 more counts, including first degree rape.
Castronovo's attorneys argued that their client was high on an overdose of meth at the time of the incident.
The entire situation can best be described as bizarre. According to the Statesman Journal, quoting court records, following Castronovo's original arrest he "called the victim 35 times and text messaged her 122 times, despite being under a court order to have no contact with her. He also left voice mails during which he threatened to kill himself and told the victim he wanted her to suffer."
In all, Deen was indicted by a grand jury on charges of five counts of fourth-degree assault, one count of first-degree rape, two counts of menacing, one count of unlawful use of a weapon, one count of second-degree assault, one count of second-degree sex abuse, one count of coercion, one count of second-degree criminal mischief, and three counts of contempt of court.
Charges of rape, sex abuse, using a weapon and contempt of court were dropped as part of the plea bargain.
That plea bargain also states that Castronovo is not allowed to enter into a romantic relationship without the express permission of his of his probation officer. He is also not allowed to use alcohol or any controlled substance and he must refrain from contact with his victim.
This isn't the first time that Deen has been nailed with domestic violence charges. In 2012, he was charged with reckless endangerment, interfering with making a police report, second-degree criminal mischief and harassment involving a woman who identified herself as Castronovo's ex-girlfriend, according to police.
The punishment handed down for those infractions was 80 hours of community service and attendance of anger management classes.
Journey has continued to tour despite Deen's legal issues. Session drummer extraordinaire, Omar Hakim (who has previously worked with Dire Straits, Sting, Weather Report and many others) has been filling in on the throne.
There are no details from the band as to whether Castronovo will be allowed back following this debacle.
Deen joined Journey in 2001 and made his debut on their Arrival album. Previous to working with Journey, Castronovo had played with Ozzy Osbourne, Paul Rodgers, Steve Vai, Social Distortion and numerous other projects.