Ex-player Douglas sued by former girlfriend over alleged assaults
HARTFORD, Conn. — An ex-girlfriend of former NFL defensive end Hugh Douglas accused him in a new lawsuit of assaulting her multiple times, including an encounter at a Connecticut hotel last year that resulted in his arrest but no jail time.
Hope Davila, 33, of Hartford, and her attorney, Gloria Allred, who has worked on several cases involving prominent people, filed the civil lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Connecticut. Davila believes she didn’t get justice in the criminal case involving the hotel incident and is seeking undetermined damages for alleged physical and emotional harm she said she suffered in four assaults by Douglas last year.
"The criminal justice (system) failed me," Davila said. "I am hopeful that this civil case will accomplish what criminal case failed to do. I am looking forward to the trial."
Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday for Douglas and his attorney, Corey Brinson.
Douglas, 42, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., played for the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995 to 2004 and is a former ESPN football analyst.
He was charged in September with felony strangulation and misdemeanor assault in connection with the encounter at a Hartford hotel, but pleaded no contest to misdemeanor breach of peace in February and was sentenced to two years in a probation-like program.
Davila said Douglas picked her up by her neck in a hallway at the Hartford Marriott Downtown and slammed her head into the walls several times. She also said they had sex afterward, even though she didn’t want to, but she didn’t accuse him of sexual assault.
Douglas told Hartford police that night that Davila’s injuries were from "rough sex," according to a police report. Brinson later argued the prosecution’s case was weak and Davila was just upset that Douglas refused to pay for breast enhancements for her.
Davila said she and Douglas were in a relationship for about eight months last year and he hid the fact that he was married.
Davila alleges Douglas assaulted her three other times. At his apartment in May, she claimed, Douglas choked her, threw her to the floor several times, smacked her repeatedly and dragged her around the apartment.
Allred said she hopes the lawsuit sends a message to athletes.
"Athletes are often given special treatment by prosecutors. This case should let athletes know that their fame does not matter," Allred said. "They need to be accountable. Pleading no contest does not give them a pass."