NEW YORK – Vincent Pastore, who played gangster Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero on "The Sopranos," was told Thursday to wait another two weeks before he officially pleads guilty to trying to assault a former girlfriend last spring.
Pastore's deal calls for him to plead guilty to attempted assault, do 10 days of community service and attend a counseling program for batterers. The delay was caused by disagreement over what kind of batterers' program was appropriate.
Dominic Barbara, the actor's lawyer, said Pastore is already seeing a psychiatrist about anger issues. Barbara wants his client to continue with that therapy, but Gina D'Angelo, Domestic Violence Research Coordinator for the Criminal Courts, needs time to check out the therapy and decide whether to recommend it to the court.
Judge Richard Weinberg told Pastore to return to court Nov. 21. He said that if D'Angelo recommends disapproval of his private therapy, then he will be assigned court-approved batterers' counseling.
Barbara also told the court that Pastore, 59, intends to do his 10 days of community service at a cancer care center because somebody close to him died of the disease. Pastore refused to discuss the person.
Pastore was originally charged with two counts of assault, attempted assault and harassment for allegedly attacking Lisa Regina, 44, in April.
Prosecutors said he punched her in the back of the head, grabbed her hair, and forced her head down on a car's gear shift during an argument.
Pastore has remained free on bail while the case is pending on the condition that he refrain from contacting Regina in any way.
If convicted after trial, he could have been sentenced to as much as a year in jail.
Pastore's "Sopranos" character was killed early in the series as payback for snitching on the mob.