Prosecutor declines to charge Avenatti for domestic violence; alleged victim’s attorney calls it an outrage for all women

(Image: screenshot)

High-profile attorney Michael Avenatti will not be facing charges for alleged domestic violence at this time, but could in the future.

The office of the Los Angeles City Attorney announced on Friday that a misdemeanor domestic violence charge would not be filed against the lawyer, who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump, but hearings on the allegations would go forward, The Hill reported.

(Image: screenshot)

The Los Angeles County District Attorney had declined to file felony charges last year after accusations by actress Mareli Miniutti, who dated Avenatti from October 2017 to November 2018, in which she claimed he had dragged her by the arm across the floor of his apartment after they had argued.

Avenatti, who was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence, was booked and released on $50,000 bond last year, and Miniutti received a restraining order against him.

The case was sent to the City Attorney’s Office to be considered for misdemeanor filing by the Los Angeles District Attorney about a week after the alleged incident last year.

“The City Attorney’s Office has reviewed all of the reports in this matter and considered all of the evidence. This matter has been set for City Attorney Hearings in which both the victim and the suspect will have an opportunity to be heard on different days,” the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office said in a statement Friday.

“The victim will be advised of services available to her. The suspect will be informed that although we decline to file charges at this time, this matter remains open and we may file charges at any time prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations,” the statement continued.

Avenatti took to Twitter to express his praise for the decision made Friday.

Miniutti’s attorney indicated that he had been informed of the decision by the supervising attorney of the city attorney’s family violence unit, noting that although his client’s allegations were believed, they were doubtful about being able to get a conviction, according to the New York Post.

“This decision is an outrage not only for Ms. Miniutti, but for women everywhere,” Michael Bachner, the attorney for the actress, said in a statement. “The message sent to victims of abuse is clear — think carefully before you come forward.”

Avenatti also fired a shot at Jacob Wohl and celebrity news outlet TMZ following Friday’s announcement, slamming them for “fabricating” stories against him.

The brash attorney and outspoken Trump critic, who once considered a 2020 presidential run, could still face charges on allegations of spousal abuse or battery following future hearings where he and Miniutti can present their cases, according to Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for City Attorney Mike Feuer, the New York Post reported.

Defense lawyer Stephen G. Rodriguez told the publication that the informal hearings would present a case of one person’s word against another’s.

“It becomes a he said-she said situation, and those are hard to prosecute,” he said. “It’s absolutely good news for him. He believes he’s innocent and this is a step in that direction. Otherwise they would have already prosecuted him.”

Frieda Powers

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