Jared Sullinger was arrested earlier this month on assault and battery charges against his girlfriend. He was released on bail, and released an apology to the fans, city, team, the victim and her family. The AP now reports that the Middlesex district attorney's office intends to pursue the case, despite resistance from the victim:
Prosecutors say they intend to pursue domestic assault charges against Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger even though the alleged victim wants to drop the case.
The 21-year-old Sullinger appeared in Waltham District Court on Monday to face charges of assault and battery, destruction of property and witness intimidation in connection with the Aug. 31 confrontation with his girlfriend in which he's alleged to have pinned her to a bed and the floor at his Waltham home.
His lawyer, Charles Rankin, says the girlfriend does not want to continue the case and is not fearful of Sullinger.
A spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney's office says prosecutors ‘‘believe we have evidence to support the charges.''
Sullinger has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $5,000 bail. He called the charges ‘‘embarrassing.''
Sullinger, 21, had back surgery in January after questions regarding the condition caused his stock to plummet in the 2012 draft all the way to the Celtics at No. 21. He had a productive season and was seen as a bright spot for the team prior to the injury. Celtics GM Danny Ainge told reporters Tuesday the team stands behind Sullinger despite the incident.
"Jared will be in training camp, he's in our facility working out everyday," said Ainge. "I think he's taking care of everything in the exact right way that he should. I think Jared is a good kid. And he's a good Celtic. 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."
Ainge was mum on potential punishment, preferring to wait until the judicial process plays out. Ainge said he didn't think the situation would be a distraction for Sullinger entering the 2013-14 season.
"I don't think it would be a distraction for Jared now, just because he knows the story. He knows, and someday you guys will," said Ainge. "But just because of the legal proceedings, it can't be publicized and he can't talk about it. I think he's comfortable with where he is and what he needs to work on, and who he needs to apologize to."
If the prosecution does pursue a case, it's hard to see how it won't be a distraction for the second-year forward.