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Restraining order filed against Moss

Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Randy Moss joined the Patriots this season determined to avoid off-field problems. Now he’s in the middle of one, just days before Sunday’s AFC championship game.

A temporary restraining order was issued Monday requiring the star wide receiver to stay at least 500 feet from a woman who alleged he committed “battery causing serious injury” to her at her Florida home on Jan. 6.

Moss denied the allegation by Rachelle Washington, which he called “this situation of extortion,” and said he was “furious” about it. The restraining order was issued in the Broward County 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida. No criminal charge has been brought.

A hearing on whether to issue a permanent restraining order is scheduled for 3 p.m. Jan. 28, six days before the Super Bowl.

Moss broke his usual midweek silence as he was surrounded by two dozen reporters and 10 videocameras at his locker on Wednesday. He didn’t identify the woman but said she has been a friend for 11 years and that she asked for “six figures” for what he said was an accident in which she was hurt.

“I want to make something clear,” Moss said. “In my whole entire life of living 30 years, I’ve never put my hand on one woman, physically or in an angry manner.”

David McGill, the attorney for Washington, had no comment, according to his legal assistant, Melissa Miller. A telephone message left by the Associated Press with Moss’ attorney, Jim DiPiero, was not immediately returned.

In his previous nine seasons — seven with Minnesota and two with Oakland — Moss was involved in several off-field incidents.

&uot;This is a negative,&uot; he said of the latest allegation, &uot;a black cloud hanging over my head, and that’s something that I did not want coming into the season. … Everything I tried to do from getting here early, to make sure I eat the right food, all the way to practicing and playing, I wanted all of that to be A-plus.

&uot;Everything’s been positive, so why would I bring something negative on. As much as I care and love the game of football and love my teammates, I would never put myself or them in a situation of something like this.&uot;

With the Vikings, he was criticized by quarterback Daunte Culpepper and others for leaving the field with two seconds left in a regular-season loss to Washington. He bumped a traffic control officer with his car in 2002, verbally abused corporate sponsors on a team bus in 2001 and squirted an official with a water bottle in 1999.

On draft day last April, the Patriots sent a 2007 fourth-round draft choice to Oakland for Moss, who has avoided off-field problems this season and been hailed by Patriots players as an excellent teammate and leader.

Undefeated New England plays the San Diego Chargers in the AFC championship game in Foxborough on Sunday, thanks in part to Moss, who was named to the All-Pro team. During the season he caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns, breaking Jerry Rice’s single-season mark of 22. He had one catch in Saturday night’s 31-20 playoff win over Jacksonville, which resorted to double and triple coverage on him.