UPDATE: Rape charges against former Rockies prospects Michael Mason and Jesse Meaux were dropped in April 2015 as announced by Buncombe District Attorney Todd Williams.
"The District Attorney's Office must often make hard choices," Williams wrote in a statement provided to The Citizen-Times of Asheville. "The Asheville Tourists cases were first charged in August of 2013. These cases were passed by the former administration to my office for review on January 1, 2015. Upon completion of my review of these cases, in my discretion, I have elected to dismiss the charges filed against the Asheville Tourists defendants. Out of respect for the privacy of all involved, I cannot comment further."
Mason and Meaux were placed on the restricted list after being charged, and neither has pitched in the Minor Leagues since 2013 with Class A Asheville. The original Aug. 2, 2013, story of the charges is below.
ORIGINAL STORY: Class A Asheville relief pitchers Michael Mason and Jesse Meaux were charged Friday morning with two counts each of first-degree rape and first-degree sex offense.
The charges against both 23-year-olds came as a result of an alleged incident between the pair and one woman at the pair's shared apartment Saturday morning, according to The Asheville Citizen-Times.
Both players have been suspended by the parent club Rockies, and neither has pitched in a game since the alleged incident.
"The Colorado Rockies and their affiliate, the Asheville Tourists, are aware of the arrests and the very serious allegations made against two players, Michael Mason and Jesse Meaux," the Rockies said in a statement Thursday night. "Each organization is shocked and deeply concerned about the allegations. At this time, the players have been suspended as the investigation and legal process continue.
"We are working with the authorities investigating the circumstances and issues surrounding the events and are awaiting further details and findings. Given that this is an ongoing legal investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment or speculate any further."
Mason owned a 3.38 ERA in 21 appearances this season and last took the mound for the Tourists on July 26. Meaux had a 0.90 ERA in 16 games but hadn't pitched since May 24 due to a right-shoulder injury.
The pair could face a sentence of life in prison without the opportunity for parole if found guilty of the charges before them. Meaux was released from custody after posting a $100,000 bond, according to The Citizen-Times, while Mason remained in Buncombe County jail. Neither is allowed to leave the North Carolina county due to court order.
Sam Dykstra is a contributor to MiLB.com.