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Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro “happy” he’s cleared in sex case

StarlCastro Cubs stands third base first inning Wrigley Field Saturday April 7 2012 Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

Starlin Castro of the Cubs stands at third base in the first inning at Wrigley Field Saturday, April 7, 2012, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Updated: May 22, 2012 8:09AM

Cubs All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro said Saturday he was “happy” to learn than he will not face criminal charges months after he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman he picked up at a River North nightclub.

“I’m happy we got it resolved. But my focus has stayed on the field,” Castro said in the Cubs clubhouse.

“I’m happy its over. I play every day and not have that in my mind because it was tough to think about.”

The Cook County state’s attorney’s office announced Friday it was declining to pursue charges against the 22-year-old star, saying “insufficient evidence was found.”

“The State’s Attorney’s office in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department conducted a comprehensive review and investigation and as a result found insufficient evidence to bring forth criminal charges,” state’s attorney spokeswoman Sally Daly said.

When told by the Chicago Sun-Times about the prosecutors’ decision , Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer said Friday: “That is awesome.”

“This makes me very happy,” he said.

Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer said in a statement: “We’re pleased for Starlin that this issue is resolved and glad that he can continue to keep his focus on baseball activities.”

A police source said in January that detectives were investigating the criminal sexual assault complaint involving Castro, who allegedly met the woman on Sept. 29 at a River North nightclub and took her back to his apartment. The woman, in her 20s, went to a hospital the next day, and police became involved.

By then, Castro had already left for his native Dominican Republic after the end of the Cubs’ playoff-less season.

When he returned to Chicago in January for the Cubs Convention, he was questioned by police. He voluntarily appeared at the Belmont Area detective headquarters to talk to investigators.

The allegation has hovered over his head ever since, including into this baseball season.

“We’re just happy they got it right,” Kinzer said. “Obviously, it hasn’t been a distraction. He’s a remarkable kid. Nothing distracts him. He’s very focused.’’

Lawyers for the shortstop have long said the complaint against Castro was baseless.

In February, when Castro reported to training camp, he told reporters he had learned a lot from the events of the offseason.

‘’You’ve got to be careful,’’ he said, “because there’s a lot of bad people in the world.’’

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