Washington Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth did not grope a waitress at a hotel bar and intends to fight the accusations, his lawyer said Tuesday in entering a not guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse.
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Haynesworth, who was not at his arraignment in D.C. Superior Court, is accused of sliding his credit card into the bra of a waitress and touching her breast during a birthday party at a Washington hotel in February. His lawyer said after the hearing that the accusation was false and that Haynesworth would defend himself at a trial set for July 11.
"The government’s version of what happened at the W Hotel a few months back is very different from our version – and we’ve got witnesses," said defense lawyer A. Scott Bolden, who said his client was currently out of town. "The one thing I can tell you is my client didn’t do what he’s accused of doing."
Bolden said he believed the accusation was trumped up because of Haynesworth’s celebrity status and wealth. Prosecutors last month offered a plea deal in which the sexual abuse charge would be dropped in exchange for Haynesworth pleading guilty to simple assault. But Bolden rejected that offer in court Tuesday.
The sexual abuse charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Haynesworth, 29, has had a tumultuous recent run with the Redskins.
Haynesworth, who last season was in the second year of a seven-year, $100 million contract, was suspended without pay for the final four games of 2010 for "conduct detrimental to the club" and feuded regularly with coach Mike Shanahan. He also skipped offseason workouts and failed to pass a conditioning test at the start of training camp.
In January, one month before the sexual abuse accusation was made, Haynesworth was accused of road rage in Fairfax County, Va., by a man who claimed he was tailgated and then assaulted by the All-Pro defensive tackle. Haynesworth is awaiting a trial in that case. Haynesworth’s agent has said his client is innocent.