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Saturday, July 1, 2006
Trial date set for troubled Bengals WR Henry

By Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com

In what could be his first of several court dates in coming months, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry, arrested in mid-June for the fourth time since December, will stand trial on Sept. 26 on three counts of unlawful transaction with a minor.

The trial date, which comes just two days after the Bengals face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third game of the 2006 season for the bitter AFC North rivals, was set by Kenton County (Ky.) District Court Judge Douglas Grothaus, who had presided over the earlier hearings in the latest legal entanglement involving the troubled wide receiver.

Henry, 23, is free on $2,500 bond. As part of his release, Henry was ordered last month to avoid alcohol and to have no contact with minors. If he violates those conditions, his bond would be revoked and Henry would be jailed. He faces up to a year in jail, and a $500 fine, if convicted of the charges.

The arrest warrant in the Kenton County case claims that Henry provided alcohol to three women all under the age of 21. One of the women is identified as Monica Beamon, 18, and the others are cited as unnamed 15- and 16-year-olds. The criminal affidavit charges all three women were in Henry's car when he provided them alcohol, with the knowledge that all were under the Kentucky legal drinking age of 21. The alleged incident occurred in Covington, Ken., just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, on April 29.

After a productive rookie year, Henry has been unable to avoid off-field problems in the offseason.

On June 3, Henry was arrested and charged with speeding and operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), and registered a blood alcohol reading of .092 in a breathalyzer test. The legal limit in Ohio is .08. The speeding charge is a minor misdemeanor and the OVI charge is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Henry faces a felony gun charge in Florida stemming from a Jan. 29 incident in which he allegedly possessed a firearm outside an Orlando nightclub. Henry is charged with possession of a concealed firearm in that incident, a third-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Two other charges from that incident, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and improper exhibition of a weapon, were dropped.

In December, the former West Virginia University standout was arrested in Covington and charged with possession of marijuana. Henry pled guilty to the charge to avoid jail time, paid a fine of $250 and agreed to spend 28 days in a drug rehabilitation program, a stipulation which he has already completed.

Each of the incidents was enough to subject Henry to NFL scrutiny and he could face league sanctions, including possible fines or a suspension, under terms of the personal conduct policy.

A third-round choice in the 2005 draft, and the 83rd player selected overall, Henry appeared in 14 games as rookie, started five times, and had 31 receptions for 422 yards and six touchdowns.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.