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Jay Mariotti Pleads Not Guilty To Stalking, Assault

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LOS ANGELES -- Former ESPN commentator Jay Mariotti pleaded not guilty to charges Wednesday that he stalked and assaulted his former girlfriend, the same woman he pleaded no contest to battering in another case last year.

Mariotti entered not guilty pleas Wednesday to three felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a domestic court order, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.

Prosecutors said Mariotti, a former Chicago Sun-Times columnist, grabbed the woman outside a Venice restaurant last month, pulled a chunk of her hair out and took her cellphone away while shouting at her.

Mariotti also allegedly confronted the woman at a restaurant on Sept. 30, the same day he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge involving the victim.

"These allegations are complete fabrications, made by an accuser who, since October of last year, has doggedly tried to have Mr. Marriotti arrested and charged on numerous past occasions without success," Mariotti's lawyer Shawn Holley said in a statement.

"We look forward to our day in court, where these outrageous falsehoods will be exposed as the lies that they are," she said.

Mariotti faces up to five years in state prison if convicted of all charges.

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