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Albert spared jail time for hotel room assault

Marv Albert October 24, 1997
Web posted at: 11:56 a.m. EDT (1556 GMT)

ARLINGTON, Virginia (CNN) -- A judge opted not to sentence Marv Albert to jail Friday for biting a longtime lover on the back, and said if the former NBC sportscaster stays out of trouble for a year, his criminal record will be purged.

As part of the suspended sentence, Arlington Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Kendrick ordered Albert to continue psychological counseling. The 56-year-old Albert had faced up to one year behind bars and a $2,500 fine.

Albert, who took the witness stand Friday before his sentencing, apologized to Vanessa Perhach, the woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room in February.

Albert reacts
icon 50 sec. VXtreme video

"In the past, there was consensual biting. On this particular evening, I did not realize until her testimony that she felt she was harmed," Albert said. "For that I am sorry." (icon 332K/31 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

During his testimony, Perhach quietly shook her head. Later, when prosecutor Richard Trodden described the attack, Perhach wept softly on the shoulder of a female friend.

Perhach had no immediate comment after the sentencing. But her attorney said she was pleased with Friday's developments.

"She felt very good that Mr. Albert finally apologized to her face-to-face for what he did," lawyer Dan Morissette said. "From the outset, that's what she wanted most."

Perhach, 42, had filed an angry motion with the court, saying Albert deserved to go to jail -- a request rejected by Kendrick.

Flanked by his fiancee Heather Faulkiner, Albert addressed reporters briefly after Friday's proceedings.

Albert's attorney reacts
icon 11 min. 15 sec. VXtreme video

"I would just like to say this has been a most difficult time for myself, my fiancee and my family. As for the future, I'm just looking to put the pieces of my life back together," he said in a somber voice.

His attorney, Roy Black, added, "We are hopeful that the tabloid aspect of this case is now over."

Witness criticizes lack of jail time

Lurid allegations of Albert's sexual peccadilloes, including his fondness for threesomes and wearing women's underwear, drove the former sportscaster to bring an abrupt halt to his two-day assault and sodomy trial last month.

Albert pleaded guilty to assault and battery, both misdemeanors. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a felony sodomy charge against him.

Masten
Witness Patricia Masten and her attorney, Gloria Allred, react to Albert's suspended sentence
icon 6 min. 20 sec. VXtreme video

Albert entered the plea a day after a second woman -- Patricia Masten -- stunned his lawyers by testifying that Albert bit her during a sexual advance. She described how he allegedly asked her for three-way sex and paraded around a room in a garter belt. Masten said she ripped off his toupee and fled from the Dallas hotel room.

On Friday, Masten lashed out at the judge for not sentencing Albert to jail.

"Personally, I'm very upset that he's not doing any jail time," she said. "He was a role model. ... What kind of a message are we sending to the children today? Is it: 'Do whatever you want to whomever you want at any time you want?'" (icon 408K/31 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

"Acts of violence have to stop," she added.

NBC fired Albert hours after he pleaded guilty. He also resigned as television announcer for basketball's New York Knicks and hockey's New York Rangers on the Madison Square Garden Network.

In tearful testimony, Perhach said Albert became angry because she refused his request that another man join them for sex. She said he threw her onto a bed, bit her back numerous times and forced her to perform oral sex.

Albert's lawyers repeatedly tried to discredit Perhach, claiming she was a liar and a schemer who set out to trap Albert to seek civil damages in a lawsuit.

The defense attorneys also said Albert pleaded guilty because the judge had ruled out most evidence the defense said would show Perhach's pattern of lies and retribution on old lovers.

The two had periodic sexual trysts over 10 years, lawyers on both sides said.

 
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