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Counseling, $14K payment part of K-Rod’s plea bargain

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The Mets all-star closer saved himself from trading his baseball jersey for prison garb Friday by admitting that he beat up his former girlfriend’s father in the summer.

Francisco Rodriguez will have to take part in a 52-session anger management/batterer intervention program and pay more than $14,000 to Carlos Pena, the father of his former significant other Daian Pena, as part of his plea deal on assault charges, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

“In seeking a disposition, it was necessary that we be satisfied that Mr. Rodriguez took responsibility for his actions,” he said following the hearing.

Rodriguez, aka K-Rod, was rushed out of the courtroom following his hearing with Queens Criminal Court Justice Mary R. O’Donoghue, but his attorney, Christopher Booth, said he was remorseful for the incident.

“It’s in the past and he’s going to get help,” he told reporters outside the court.

On Aug. 11, Rodriguez was with Daian Pena, the mother of his twin girls, and her father in the family room of Citi Field when he took the elder Pena outside and beat him up, Brown said. Carlos Pena was taken to an undisclosed hospital and treated for bruises and abrasions, while the right-handed pitcher was arrested and later arraigned, according to the DA.

The Penas were given an order of protection against Rodriguez but he violated that order by sending more than 56 text messages to his former girlfriend, Brown said. He was arrested and charged with violating the order on Sept. 22.

As part of the deal, the order will be extended for the next two years, Brown said.

The DA’s office worked out a schedule for the anger management sessions so that they would not interfere with his schedule while preparing for next season with the Mets. He will have some of his sessions in his native Venezuela, where he is currently playing winter ball, some at the Mets’s spring training facilities in Florida and the rest in New York when the regular season begins.

The DA countered allegations that the multi-million-dollar athlete was getting special treatment for his crime and reminded reporters ´╗┐that Rodriguez is paying for the sessions out of his pocket.

“The message is there is no tolerance for domestic violence,” he said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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