By Elizabeth Zwirz
Published February 01, 2019
Authorities in Los Angeles reportedly opted against charging Michael Avenatti following an accusation last year that he physically abused a woman.
While the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office announced Friday that they would not be pursuing the misdemeanor domestic violence charge against the well-known attorney at this point, there would be hearings on the accusations, according to The Associated Press.
It’s possible that charges could ultimately be filed on allegations of spousal abuse or battery following the hearings, Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for City Attorney Mike Feuer, told the outlet. Both parties will reportedly be able to argue their case.
The announcement followed the November incident in which actress Mareli Miniutti claimed Avenatti dragged her by the arm across the floor of his apartment after an argument.
Miniutti previously said she and Avenatti dated from October 2017 to Nov. 13, 2018, according to The New York Times.
The Los Angeles District Attorney announced roughly a week after the incident that the case would be sent to the City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor filing consideration.
Avenatti – who represents adult film star Stormy Daniels – praised the decision on Friday, saying that after multiple investigations “the truth of my innocence is now established.”
“Every purported victim should have her or his claims investigated,” he tweeted. “Here, that is exactly what happened. I wish to thank the LAPD, LADA, and LACA for their professionalism during this difficult process. I will continue to speak truth to power and seek justice for my clients.”
An attorney for Miniutti told The Associated Press that he learned of the decision by the supervising attorney of the city attorney's family violence unit that while prosecutors believed his client, they didn't think they could win a conviction.
Attorney Michael Bachner reportedly condemned the outcome, saying it was “an outrage,” not just for his client “but for women everywhere.”
"The message sent to victims of abuse is clear — think carefully before you come forward,” Bachner said in the statement.
Fox News’ Matt Richardson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.