Washington Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth did not grope a waitress at a hotel bar and intends to fight the accusations, his lawyer said Tuesday in entering a not-guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse.
Haynesworth, who was not at his arraignment in D.C. Superior Court, is accused of sliding his credit card into the bra of a waitress and touching her breast during a birthday party at a Washington hotel in February. His lawyer said after the hearing that the accusation was false and that Haynesworth would defend himself at a trial set for July 11.
"The government's version of what happened at the W Hotel a few months back is very different from our version -- and we've got witnesses," said defense lawyer A. Scott Bolden, who said his client was currently out of town. "The one thing I can tell you is my client didn't do what he's accused of doing."
An overview of the government's case, filed with the plea offer in court documents, includes a fuller description of the alleged incident at the Washington, D.C. hotel in mid-February. The eight-page document says Haynesworth was attending a birthday party the night of Feb. 12-13 and was ready to pay the bill of more than $800 when his waitress was called over with her hands full of dishes.
Insisting he wanted to pay immediately and before she could drop off the dishes, Haynesworth tapped the woman on her arm and shoulder with his card, according to the court papers. The waitress "looked up and down at herself, as if wondering where (Haynesworth) expected her to put (the card)," when he slid the card down the center of her bra and began touching her breast, the documents allege. He said something to the effect of "Can I do that?" the documents state.
One witness who saw the exchange believed that the waitress had agreed to let Haynesworth place the card in her bra but reported her tone turned stern and she asked him to remove his hand after he touched her, according to the documents. The card ultimately was declined, and another waitress took it back to Haynesworth, prosecutors say in the document.
After the waitress told other employees what had happened, a security person at the hotel approached Haynesworth and asked him if he remembered having any contact with the woman.
"I didn't touch her," Haynesworth responded, according to the document, adding that he doesn't "even like black girls."
When police detectives later tried to interview Haynesworth, he spontaneously told them, according to the documents: "I know what this is about, she is just upset I have a white girlfriend. I couldn't tell you the last time I dated a black girl. She was trying to get with me."
Haynesworth refused to be interviewed further but did later provide a sworn statement to the government.
Bolden said he believed the accusation was trumped up because of Haynesworth's celebrity status and wealth. Prosecutors last month offered a plea deal in which the sexual-abuse charge would be dropped in exchange for Haynesworth pleading guilty to simple assault. Bolden rejected that offer in court Tuesday.
The sexual-abuse charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Haynesworth, who last season was in the second year of a seven-year, $100 million contract, was suspended without pay for the final four games of 2010 for "conduct detrimental to the club" and feuded regularly with coach Mike Shanahan. He also skipped offseason workouts and failed to pass a conditioning test at the start of training camp.
In January, one month before the sexual-abuse accusation was made, Haynesworth was accused of road rage in Fairfax County, Va., by a man who claimed he was tailgated and then assaulted by the All-Pro defensive tackle. Haynesworth is awaiting a trial in that case. Haynesworth's agent has said his client is innocent.
At one point last summer, Haynesworth also was involved in lawsuits from a bank, an exotic dancer, a man injured in an automobile accident and complaints from his ex-wife that he wasn't paying for her health insurance or their children's bills.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.