October 24

This Day in History

Crime

Oct 24, 1997:

Marv Albert faces sentencing in sexual assault case

Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Kendrick announces that he will dismiss the sexual assault case filed against Marv Albert by 42-year-old Vanessa Perhach if the sportscaster agrees to get counseling and stays out of trouble for a year. Albert faced up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

According to Perhach, Albert had invited her to his room in the Ritz Carlton Hotel on February 12, 1997, after announcing an NBA game between the New York Knicks and Washington Bullets. He then purportedly bit her on her back after she refused his request for three-way sex. Albert, who met Perhach at the Miami Hilton where she worked in 1986, resigned from his job at Madison Square Garden and was fired from NBC after pleading guilty to assault and battery. A felony charge of forcible sodomy was dropped.

During the trial, which began on September 22, 1997, the defense brought into evidence a taped conversation in which Perhach appeared to have offered a friend of hers money in exchange for testifying against Albert. Later, however, the prosecution introduced Patricia Masten, another hotel employee who claimed that the sportscaster had bit her on two separate occasions and had tried to force her to perform oral sex.

According to the emergency room nurse that treated her, Perhach had bite marks on her back, including one that broke the skin, and a forensic dentist testified that he had made a definitive match between molds made from Albert's teeth and the marks on Perhach's back.

On July 15, 1998, Albert was rehired by the Madison Square Garden Network to anchor MSG Sports Desk, a nightly sports show, and do radio play-by-play of New York Knicks games. All charges were dismissed in October of that same year, after determining that Albert had complied with the court's conditions.

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