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Charges dismissed against woman accused of punching Maurice Clarett

Wire • Mar 21, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Charges of domestic violence and assault were dismissed today against a woman accused of punching and biting former Ohio State University football player Maurice Clarett at their South Side home.

Franklin County Municipal Judge Anne Taylor dropped the misdemeanor charges after Ashley J. Evans, 30, provided documentation that she had completed counseling.

“This is not an uncommon resolution for people who don’t have (criminal) records,” said Jeffrey Bennington, a domestic-relations prosecutor for the Columbus city attorney’s office.

Clarett did not attend the hearing. According to birth records, he and Evans have a 6-year-old daughter.

Police responded to a domestic-violence call at the couple’s home on Willow Bloom Drive on Dec. 29. Clarett told police that Evans bit him on the wrist and chest and punched him in the face.

As a freshman tailback for the Buckeyes, Clarett starred at Ohio State for one season, rushing for 1,237 yards (a school record for a freshman) and scoring 18 touchdowns, which helped the Buckeyes to a 14-0 record and the 2002 BCS National Championship. He scored the winning touchdown against the University of Miami with a five-yard run in the second overtime in the Fiesta Bowl. He also made a key defensive play in that game, stealing the ball on the Miami 28 from Hurricanes safety Sean Taylor, who was returning an interception from the end zone of a pass thrown by Craig Krenzel. After that play, Ohio State kicked a field goal, giving them a 10-point lead at the time. Clarett was the first freshman to be the leading rusher on a national championship team since Ahman Green of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1995.

After that, his life took a turn for the worst. He was suspended indefinitely after the season for filing a false police report and lying to NCAA investigators. He also unsuccessfully challenging the NFL's draft eligibility rules requiring a player to be three years removed from high school.

He was drafted by Denver in the third-round of the 2005 NFL draft, but didn't survive training camp, being released before the season.

Then he served 3 1/2 years in prison on robbery and gun charges and was released in 2010.

In August 2010, the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League signed Clarett. As the Nighthawks' No. 2 running back, Clarett finished the season with 154 yards on the ground on 37 attempts and a touchdown. He also caught 12 passes for 98 yards, and returned one kickoff for 13 yards.

Clarett told The Dispatch in November that he was giving motivational speeches, attending church-ministry classes and self-publishing a book to help young people make smart decisions.


By John Futty - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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