Albert to plead innocent in sex assault
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) _ Marv Albert, holding hands with his fiancee, entered court today where his attorney told a judge that the sportscaster will plead innocent to forcible sodomy and assault charges.
Judge Benjamin Kendrick set a Sept. 22 trial date for Albert in Arlington Circuit Court on charges that he viciously bit a woman and forced her to perform oral sex in his hotel room in February.
Albert, accompanied by fiancee Heather Faulkiner and his four children, was silent throughout the five-minute hearing.
Gerard Treanor, a lawyer representing Albert, told the judge the defense needs time to analyze physical evidence and review tests on the evidence.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Richard Trodden requested a jury trial, and the judge released Albert on his own recognizance. Albert was fingerprinted and photographed as he was booked after the hearing, his lawyer said.
Treanor said he will abide by the prosecutor’s request not to discuss the case. Outside the courthouse he would not comment on the substance of the case, saying only, ``We look forward to that trial and we look forward to his vindication.″
Albert, NBC’s lead announcer for NBA games, faces five years to life in prison if convicted. He also has broadcast New York Knicks and Rangers games locally, and has done football and boxing for the network.
He announced the NBA playoff games for NBC as scheduled Saturday and Monday.
Albert, 53, was indicted May 19 on charges of forcible sodomy and assault. A woman who said she has been a friend of his for years told police he bit her repeatedly and forced her to perform oral sex in an Arlington hotel room Feb. 12.
Police spokesman Tom Bell said last week that officers photographed jagged bite wounds on the woman’s back.
Albert’s 41-year-old accuser faces criminal charges herself: She is accused of threatening to kill a former boyfriend in March.
Albert complained last week that neither police nor prosecutors spoke to him before the indictment was made public a week ago today. Local officials in Virginia have said Albert did not return their calls.
He did not formally enter a plea today. The judge said he prefers to adhere to the local custom of accepting pleas immediately before a trial begins.
However, Treanor asked the judge to acknowledge that his client intends to plead innocent to both charges.