Rey Maualuga pleads not guilty to assault

Posted Feb 17, 2012
Aaron Wilson

The lawyer for Cincinnati Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga has entered a written plea of not guilty for his misdemeanor assault case. If convicted, Maualuga could face up to 180 days in jail. Maualuga stands accused of punching Sammy Laham at a bar on Feb. 5. The manager of the downtown Cincinnati bar claims that he was punched by Maualuga early Sunday morning around closing time.

"One of them said something at which point I repeated myself, that they had to leave, and then Rey Maualuga got up, took three or four steps and punched me in the face, more noticeably the eye, then my nose started to bleed," said Laham, the manager of Luxe. "Then security diffused the situation."

Added witness and bar employee Brittany Knight: "Our security went over to see what was going on, to break them up, and Sammy went over as well, and Rey was leaning up against the bar and he stepped forward and swung. At first I didn't see who it was because I was standing a little further back until I saw my manager walk by and I saw his eye and it was bleeding and cut up. He said, 'I can't believe I just got hit' and I was shocked with my mouth to the ground."

In the past, Maualuga pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and went to alcohol rehabilitation.

He was fined two game checks by the NFL, received a seven-day suspended jail sentence and had his driver's license suspended for three months.

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