NBC fires Marv Albert after guilty plea
September 25, 1997
Web posted at: 5:01 p.m. EDT (1701 GMT)
ARLINGTON, Virginia (CNN) -- NBC fired sportscaster Marv Albert hours after he pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor assault and battery in exchange for the prosecution dropping a forcible sodomy charge against
Albert, on trial in suburban Washington for biting a woman
in a hotel room in February, was to face sentencing
"I just felt I had to end this ordeal for myself, my
wonderful family, my fiancee," Albert said in a brief
statement outside the Virginia courtroom. He refused to
answer further questions.
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Under the plea bargain, Albert admitted guilt to a
faces up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. The dropped
charge, a felony, could have brought him five years to life
|Correspondent Carl Rochelle explains the legal proceedings
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Albert spoke in a somber and low tone as he made his plea to
Circuit Judge Benjamin N.A. Kendrick. His supporters,
including his family, sat stoically in three rows of the
courtroom, making no visible reaction. His fiancee, Heather
Faulkiner, sat with her hands clasped in her lap.
Albert entered the plea a day after a second woman testified
that he bit her during a sexual advance.
"The significance of that testimony is profound," prosecutor
Richard Trodden said Thursday after announcing the
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Trodden said Albert had turned down the same plea bargain
offer before the trial. He added that Albert's 42-year-old
accuser had signed off on Thursday's plea arrangement.
"We feel it is appropriate that Mr. Albert pleaded guilty to
this charge, to this crime against this victim," Trodden
Defense attorney Roy Black said that under Virginia law the
defense had been barred from introducing about 85 percent of
its evidence, making them seek the plea agreement.
"It made it difficult for us to proceed ahead with the case
as we intended," Black said. "I thought this was the best way
to end this matter."
On Wednesday, Patricia Masden described in testimony two
encounters in which she claimed Albert bit her, including one
in which he allegedly asked her for three-way sex.
She said that in 1994, the NBC sportscaster lured her to his
room in the Dallas-Fort Worth Hyatt hotel with a request for
assistance. She said he greeted her wearing women's panties
and a garter belt and tried to force her to perform oral sex
on him. She said she ripped off his toupee and fled from him.
Her testimony was similar to that of a Virginia woman, a
longtime lover of Albert's, who said Albert bit her and
forced her to perform oral sex in an Arlington hotel room on
February 12. Albert was being tried on forcible sodomy and
assault and battery charges stemming from that incident.
Defense attorneys sought to bar Wednesday's testimony, but
the judge allowed it to show what prosecutors said was a
pattern of conduct by the sportscaster.