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Patriots’ Coates Appears in Court

September 29, 1998

WRENTHAM, Mass. (AP) _ New England Patriots tight end Ben Coates, facing charges he assaulted the mother of one of his children, asked a judge to postpone his trial until after the NFL season.

But in a hearing at Wrentham District Court on Tuesday, Judge Daniel B. Winslow denied the request and said he hoped to have the case go to trial by mid-November.

Coates won a small victory at the hearing when the judge allowed defense attorneys access to phone records that allegedly show the victim threatened the football player in the days before the incident.

Jennifer Marshall, 27, of Norton, accused Coates of shoving her several times and slamming her head against the hood of a car outside his Franklin home on July 26.

Coates, 28, has pleaded innocent to domestic assault and battery and claimed he was defending himself from an attack by Marshall.

Coates, who is free on $1,000 cash bail, was in court but made no public comment.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Coates is in his eighth NFL season, all with the Patriots. He has made the last four Pro Bowls and set the NFL season record of 96 receptions by a tight end in 1994. In each of his last five seasons he has at least 50 catches and five touchdowns.

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