Dominique Hatfield's return path to good standing with Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham reached another roadblock Monday as the standout cornerback was charged with misdemeanor assault stemming from his alleged involvement in a fight at a party last month.
However, Hatfield's attorney says his client is innocent, just as he did when Hatfield previously faced legal charges. Charges against the cornerback were dropped last month when police determined that Hatfield was misidentified as the perpetrator in an aggravated robbery and theft case.
"I'm disappointed (charges) were filed," attorney Greg Skordas told The Associated Press. "We intend to address them immediately. I intend to get this case in front of a jury as soon as I can. I'm confident it's going to go the same way as the last case that was brought against him."
The alleged victim identified Hatfield as one of four or five people that attacked him at a party on July 5.
Hatfield, who had nine pass breakups for the Utes last season, was dismissed from the football program after he was charged in the first incident. After those charges were dropped, Whittingham said Hatfield could be reinstated under certain conditions that he declined to disclose. While Skordas said his client did not commit the crime, he acknowledged the latest charges complicate Hatfield's efforts to return to the Utah football team.
"This is obviously a huge setback in that respect," Skordas said. "Unfortunately, the timing of it is problematic in terms of him getting back on the field. He likes the people in Utah and he wants to get, at least, back as a student if not a student-athlete."
Transferring could also be a possibility for Hatfield, although his options to do so will be more limited later this month as enrollment deadlines for fall classes approach.