LAS VEGAS – A dethroned Miss Nevada USA agreed Wednesday to pay fines for five misdemeanor traffic violations in exchange for prosecutors dropping a charge of resisting arrest.
Katherine N. "Katie" Rees, 23, avoided trial by entering no contest pleas. If she had been convicted of the dropped misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest, she could have faced six months in jail.
"I'm just really glad this is over. It was a really traumatic experience and I'm ready to move on," Rees said outside the courtroom.
However, Rees and her lawyer, Michael Cristalli, said they are considering filing a federal police brutality and civil rights claim against the two Las Vegas police officers who they allege broke Rees' front tooth by slamming her against the hood of her car during her arrest Feb. 6.
Rees pleaded no contest to speeding, operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance and driving with an expired registration, a suspended license and suspended registration. She agreed to pay up to $1,312 in fines.
Cristalli said Rees did not know her license and registration were suspended when she went to buy ice cream at about 3 a.m. She was stopped in a residential area several miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, and complained that she had no phone and way to get home after the officers impounded her car.
"It was only when she asked for assistance to get home that they initiated the arrest and used excessive force causing substantial injury," Cristalli said.
The Miss Universe Organization and co-owner Donald Trump dethroned Rees in December 2006 after racy photos appeared on the Internet showing her kissing other young women, exposing one of her breasts and pulling down her pants to show her thong underwear at a party in Tampa, Fla.
Rees appeared in court 80 minutes late, wearing a blue silk designer outfit and blue suede four-inch heels. Justice of the Peace Joe M. Bonaventure accepted Cristalli's apology and explanation that Rees' tardiness was his fault, not hers.