Jonah Keri, the baseball writer serving a 21-month sentence for domestic violence, was denied parole by a Quebec parole board that ruled his release would “represent an unacceptable risk to society.”
The parole board issued its ruling after a hearing last week. The Times obtained a copy of the decision on Tuesday.
Keri, who was sentenced last March, has since participated in “programs concerning impulsiveness, anger management and conjugal abuse dynamics,” according to the decision. He proposed moving into a halfway house and participating in a domestic violence program.
Keri, who had most recently worked for The Athletic and Canada’s Sportsnet, had agreed before sentencing to a statement of facts involving 14 incidents of violence against his ex-wife, Amy Kaufman.
“During these incidents,” Judge Alexandre Dalmau wrote in sentencing Keri, “the offender punched the victim in the knees, hit her on the head and on her ears, pushed her, dragged her on the ground, slapped her, bit her, spat in her face, head-butted her, shook her, pulled her hair, and grabbed her by the shoulders while threatening to throw her off a balcony.”
In last week’s decision, parole board officials Jean Dugre and Julie Filion cited the series of incidents, “up to and including an attempted strangling,” and said evidence of a significant change in Keri’s behavior was “not displayed” at the hearing.
Amy Kaufman, ex-wife of sportswriter Jonah Keri, shares her story of domestic violence. She hopes it will help others better understand victims.
“Despite the months of therapy, you do not appear to have fully appropriated all that you learned,” Dugre and Filion wrote, “and have a tendency to avoid responding to the parole board’s questions, preferring to paint yourself in a better light.”
Keri is entitled to appeal, as well as to pursue another parole hearing in six months.