Domestic violence charges dismissed

Updated: October 28, 2013, 4:30 PM ET
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Domestic violence charges against Boston Celtics forward/center Jared Sullinger were dismissed Monday in Waltham District Court.

Sullinger and his lawyer, Charles Rankin, declined comment at the courthouse.

Sullinger faced charges of assault and battery, destruction of property and witness intimidation in connection with an Aug. 31 confrontation with his girlfriend. The woman accused Sullinger of pinning her to a bed and the floor at his Waltham home. On Sept. 3, Sullinger pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on $5,000 bail.

Sullinger, 21, appeared in court Monday for a second pretrial hearing, where Rankin asked for charges to be dismissed. The woman's lawyer had previously filed an affidavit with the court stating that her client "did not want to pursue the case and is not fearful of Mr. Sullinger."

The second-year player participated in the team's afternoon practice session, little more than an hour after the charges were dismissed.

He was not available to reporters after the session and first-year coach Brad Stevens said that team brass would meet with Sullinger Monday afternoon to resolve the situation from a team standpoint (including any punishment that might be levied) now that the legal process is closed.

"I haven't really had a time to really think about it from the process standpoint," said Stevens. "I made my thoughts known on it early -- obviously, it's a really tough situation. And it's one in which, like I said earlier, we were all really disappointed when we heard of those allegations against him. We'll move forward appropriately, but he was here and he did practice today."

Asked if Sullinger acted any different on the floor given the morning's events, Stevens said, "No, he didn't. I think the whole process has obviously been tough for him. But he didn't seem necessarily any different today. I just think he continues to have to get better on the court while really becoming the best person that he can be as well, and really prioritizing learning from what he's been through."

With the Celtics set to open the season Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors, Sullinger can put the court process behind him. The team offered support while the legal process played out.

"I think Jared is a good kid. And he's a good Celtic," president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said last month. "And he's a guy that we have big hopes for. We don't think he's done anything so wrong that he shouldn't be part of our team today."

After his arrest, Sullinger released a statement through the Celtics in which he apologized and called the experience "humbling and embarrassing."

"I know that this situation has brought both sorrow and embarrassment to my girlfriend, my family, the Boston Celtics organization, my teammates and my fans," he said. "To all of you, I apologize from the bottom of my heart."

Sullinger appeared in 45 games for the Celtics last season, elevating to a starter's role before a back injury ended his season in late January. After rehabbing for much of the summer, Sullinger projects to be a vital contributor to Boston's frontcourt.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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