Judge orders ex-ESPN commentator to stand trial
LOS ANGELES – Former ESPN commentator Jay Mariotti must stand trial on charges he stalked, injured and assaulted his ex-girlfriend, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Windham found there to be sufficient evidence for Mariotti to stand to trial on one felony count each of stalking, corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. He also faces two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a domestic court order.
Prosecutors say Mariotti confronted the woman at a restaurant Sept. 30, the same day he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery count stemming from an August incident with her.
In that plea, he was sentenced to 36 months of probation, community service and a domestic violence course.
Mariotti, a former Chicago Sun-Times columnist, is also accused of grabbing his former girlfriend outside a Venice restaurant on April 15. He allegedly pulled a chunk of her hair out and took her cell phone from her while shouting at her.
Mariotti's lawyer, Shawn Holley, called the allegations meritless.
"We look forward to trial when we will have the opportunity to present a strong and vigorous defense," Holley said in a statement.