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New Orleans Saints linebacker Junior Galette was arrested early Monday morning on domestic violence charges.
The 26-year-old Galette was taken into custody after police responded to a disturbance at his home in Kenner, Louisiana, ESPN reports. He is accused of pushing a woman to the ground while trying to get her to leave his house. According to police, the woman had visible injuries, including scratches on her face and bleeding from her ear where one of her earrings had been ripped out.
In addition to possible criminal penalties, Galette may be facing harsh punishment from the NFL under the league's new personal conduct policy.
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Battery Alleged
Police say the injured woman and Galette had differing accounts of the why the woman was at Galette's house. But the woman told police that she became involved in an argument with Galette and his cousin after the men refused to give her cab money and told her to leave. The woman claims the men pushed her, then picked her up and removed her from the house, taking her phone when she tried to call 911.
Both Galette and his cousin were arrested, Galette for battery involving domestic violence. Police told ESPN that arrests for domestic violence are automatic when the alleged victim has visible injuries.
Under Louisiana law, domestic violence battery is "the intentional use of force or violence committed by one household member upon the person of another household member. A "household member" for purposes of this law is any person of the opposite sex presently living in the same residence or living in the same residence within five years of the occurrence of the domestic abuse battery with the defendant as a spouse, whether married or not.
In this case, the woman told police she had previously lived with Galette and been staying with him off and on over the last two years, helping with household chores.
NFL Conduct Policy
In addition to potential criminal penalties, Galette may face discipline from the NFL if it is determined he committed domestic violence. Following several high profile incidents last year -- including the release of video footage showing Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his wife in an elevator -- the league recently updated its personal conduct policy.
According to ESPN, Galette could face up to a six-game suspension as a first-time offender under the league's new rules.