Plea agreement keeps Pats’ Haynesworth out of prison
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — NFL defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth pleaded no contest to a charge of simple assault on Monday to resolve a case in which he was accused of touching a waitress’ breast while having drinks with friends at a Washington hotel.
If he stays out of trouble over the next 18 months and completes 160 hours of community service, prosecutors will drop the charge entirely. Haynesworth, who was recently traded from the Washington Redskins to the New England Patriots, appeared in D.C. Superior Court to enter his plea.
After a prosecutor read the facts the government would have proven at trial in the case, including that Haynesworth had slid his credit card down the woman’s shirt and touched her breast, the judge asked Haynesworth to respond.
“I do not contest the government’s proffer of facts on this charge,” he said.
Haynesworth, 30, was originally facing the more serious charge of sexual abuse in the case, which stemmed from a visit to the W Hotel in February. If convicted of that charge in a trial that was set to begin Tuesday, he would have faced up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Prosecutors dropped that charge Monday as part of the plea agreement.
Under the deal, Haynesworth must undergo alcohol abuse and psychological assessments and refrain from any threatening or harassing behavior over the next 18 months. If Haynesworth violates the conditions of the deal, which also include obeying all laws and court orders, he faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine under the simple assault charge.
The judge set a status hearing in the case for Feb. 21. Haynesworth’s attorney, A. Scott Bolden, said he didn’t want to be presumptuous but asked for a hearing in late February so as to avoid a potential conflict with the Super Bowl, a fact the judge also noted.