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No Jail Sentence For Albert After Apology, Sportscaster Told To Stay Out Of Trouble For A Year

SATURDAY, OCT. 25, 1997

Marv Albert was spared a jail sentence Friday after a grudging apology to the woman he bit during a sexual romp.

“I’m sorry if she felt she was harmed,” the former NBC sportscaster said at sentencing. He could have gotten a year in jail, but instead, his criminal record will be erased if he stays out of trouble for a year.

Outside court, he said: “I’m just looking to put the pieces of my life back together and eventually restore my broadcasting career.”

Lurid allegations about Albert’s sex life, including his fondness for threesomes and women’s panties, led the 56-year-old sportscaster to cut short his trial and plead guilty last month to assault and battery. Prosecutors dropped forcible sodomy charges, punishable by five years to life in prison.

Sitting in the front row of the courtroom Friday, the long-time lover who brought the charges, 42-year-old Vanessa Perhach, wept softly as prosecutors recounted the case.

She claimed Albert erupted in anger in a hotel room Feb. 12 after she refused his request to bring another man into bed for three-way sex. She said he threw her on the bed, bit her on the back more than a dozen times and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

After Albert’s lawyers turned down an opportunity for him to speak during his sentencing, prosecutors took the highly unusual step of calling him to the stand in an attempt to show he was not remorseful.

While Albert did offer an apology, he added that biting was “normal activity” when the two had sex.

“In the past, there was consensual biting. On this particular evening, I did not realize until her testimony that she felt she was harmed,” Albert testified. “For that I am sorry.”

When prosecutors pressed, asking Albert if he felt the encounter was wrong, Circuit Judge Benjamin N.A. Kendrick cut them off.

“He said he’s sorry she was hurt. What else can an individual say?” the judge said. He rejected prosecutors’ request for a short jail term.

For the next year, Albert is not under direct supervision by a probation officer, but he must continue to receive counseling, and the judge will check periodically on his progress. If he commits a crime during that period, he could go to jail.


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