Prosecution calls for 12-month minimum sentence for disgraced sports writer Jonah Keri
WARNING -- Some readers might find parts of this story disturbing.
Montreal sportswriter Jonah Keri is set to be sentenced in March after pleading guilty to five counts of assault, threats of death or bodily harm and criminal harassment against his former wife and a minor.
A sentencing hearing took place in a Montreal court Thursday.
His ex-wife provided an impact statement Thursday morning, where she called her 361-day marriage to Keri a nightmare, and described how it deeply impacted her and her family.
"To this day, I feel compelled to avoid confrontation at any cost, no matter who it is with,” she said. “Because of Mr. Keri’s actions, I lost myself.”
Keri then addressed the court, reading a letter he wrote to his former wife, where he said he "acted terribly" numerous times.
“Each time I apologized, promising to be better, and to never do it again. But my apologies turned out to be meaningless. The cycle of violence continued,” he said. “This was entirely my fault. You did not deserve anything that I did to you.”
Prosecutor Bruno Menard is asking the court for Keri to be jailed for a minimum of 12 months, plus probation. Defence attorney Jeffrey Boro is calling for no jail time.
Judge Alexandre Dalmau is expected to sentence Keri in March.
Court documents state several incidents involving Keri's wife took place in July 2018, May 2019 and July 2019. The baseball writer and high-profile sports journalist was first arrested in the summer of 2019.
Facts filed with the court described numerous violent incidents, including multiple times Keri verbally terrorized his wife, physically beat her or threatened her.
Abuse included striking, biting and threatening her and their unborn child with a kitchen knife. Shortly before the child was born, he headbutted his wife, breaking her nose.
"While driving, Mr. Keri weaves between lanes and threatens to push (name redacted) out the door, as well as crash the vehicle and kill both of them," one incident in the statement reads.
After the initial arrest, he was granted bail with several conditions, but in November 2019, Keri was taken into custody again after a new warrant was issued when he broke one of his bail conditions by contacting his wife.
In December of that year, Keri was charged with additional counts of assaulting his wife and a minor.
He pleaded guilty in August 2021.
A Montreal native, Keri is best known for his 2014 history of the Montreal Expos and has written for many of North America's top sports websites and publications, all of whom cut ties with him following his assault charges.
With files from CTV News' Rachel Lau and The Canadian Press
Victims of domestic violence can contact SOS violence conjugale at 1-800-363-9010.