DA Won't Prosecute Avenatti on Felony Charge

'This whole thing is bogus,' lawyer says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 22, 2018 12:24 AM CST
Prosecutors Won't Charge Avenatti With Felony
In this September 2018 photo, attorney Michael Avenatti poses with Mareli Miniutti for a photo at a party in New York.   (Marion Curtis/StarPix via AP)

(Newser) – The Los Angeles district attorney declined to prosecute attorney Michael Avenatti on felony domestic abuse charges on Wednesday and referred allegations that he roughed up his girlfriend to the city attorney for a possible misdemeanor case. Avenatti, 47, was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence last week after his girlfriend told police he abused her at his Los Angeles apartment following an argument. A restraining order against Avenatti was issued after actress Mareli Miniutti said he dragged her by the arm across a bedroom floor. Avenatti, who had called the allegations "completely false" and a fabrication, said in a statement he was thankful the district attorney had rejected the charges and was "especially grateful for justice" at Thanksgiving.

"I am completely innocent. I have absolute faith in the system that I will be fully exonerated," Avenatti told the AP. "This whole thing is bogus." A spokeswoman for the district attorney would not say why prosecutors declined to take the case from Los Angeles police. Miniutti said in her request for a restraining order that she was wearing only a T-shirt and underwear when Avenatti grabbed her by the arm and dragged her out of the bed. She said she was scratched on her side and leg. Court papers include photographs that appear to show bruises. Avenatti is best known as the attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels. (Avenatti says he is still considering a run for president.)

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