New indictment against Barry Bonds unsealed
SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds was charged in a new indictment Tuesday with 15 felony counts alleging he lied to a grand jury when he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs and that he hampered the federal government’s doping investigation.
The career home run leader originally was indicted in November by a federal grand jury on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.
Following a motion by Bonds’ lawyers to dismiss the case, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in February ordered prosecutors to rewrite the indictment because multiple alleged lies were lumped into single charges.
On Tuesday, a grand jury handed up a superseding indictment charging Bonds with 14 counts of making false declarations to a grand jury in 2003 and one count of obstruction of justice. No new lies were alleged.
“It’s exactly the same,” Golden Gate University law professor Peter Keane said. “It’s two ways of saying it’s lying, and there’s really no substantial difference between what he was charged with then and what he is charged with now.”
The case against Bonds remains built on whether he lied when he told the grand jury that his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, never supplied him with steroids and human growth hormone.
“Barry Bonds is innocent,” the player’s lead attorney, Allen Ruby, said. Ruby said Bonds will appear in court to plead not guilty to the new charges.
Bonds’ next hearing already had been scheduled for June 6 before the new indictment was unsealed, but Ruby said it is unclear whether Bonds’ will be expected to enter a plea then.
The Major League Baseball Players Association said last week it was investigating whether to file a collusion grievance against teams for not pursuing Bonds, who became a free agent when the Giants decided they didn’t want him back after 15 seasons.
The 43-year-old outfielder, a seven-time NL MVP who began his career with the Pirates, says he wants to play this year. His agent claims no team has made an offer for the 14-time All-Star. Bonds hit 28 homers last year to raise his total to 762, seven more than Hank Aaron’s previous record.