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Ex-ESPN Commentator Jay Mariotti Charged with Stalking, Assault

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on May 17, 2011 6:42 AM

It seems that more legal troubles are heading the way of former ESPN personality and Chicago Sun-Times writer Jay Mariotti. Stalking, corporal injury on a spouse or domestic partner, and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury - all felonies - round up the list of charges against him.

Mariotti has pled not guilty to all charges. If convicted, he would face up to 5 years in state prison, reports the Times.

Mariotti is already on probation from an August 2010 incident involving the same ex-girlfriend. In that misdemeanor domestic violence case, he pled no contest, reports the Los Angeles Times.

He was to remain on probation for 3 years, complete a 52-week domestic violence course, stay away from the victim, and perform 40 days of community service, according to USA Today.

The current charges stem from an April 15th incident where he allegedly argued with his girlfriend outside of a Venice, CA restaurant. Prosecutors say that he pulled out a chunk of the woman's hair and grabbed her cell phone, all while shouting at her. The alleged crimes occurred on the same day that a court ordered him not to see her, reports USA Today.

"These allegations are complete fabrications, made by an accuser who, since October of last year, has doggedly tried to have Mr. Mariotti arrested and charged on numerous past occasions without success," says Mariotti's lawyer Shawn Holley in a statement according to USA Today.

Under California law, "corporal injury" is essentially any bodily injury that is intentionally inflicted on a person. A charge of "stalking" can occur when a person repeatedly threatens, harasses, or follows another person. In some cases, stalking occurs between people with a pre-existing relationship, like ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends, though stalking can also occur between strangers, like in the case of celebrity fan stalking cases.

Prudently, ESPN no longer employs Jay Mariotti - "stalking, assault, domestic violence" on a TV personality's resume probably does not draw in loyal viewers.

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