Boston Celtics’ forward Jared Sullinger turned himself into police custody today after facing assault charges from his girlfriend Deann Smith. The talented former Ohio State Buckeye entered a plea of not guilty following his arraignment.
Following his appearance in court, Sullinger gave a brief statement outside the Waltham District Courtroom.
“I voluntarily reported to the Waltham police this morning to respond to charges against me,” Sullinger said in a statement. “The experience was humbling and embarrassing for me. Yet 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. To all of you, I apologize from the bottom of my heart. My lawyers have advised me not to discuss the case at this time. But I wanted to immediately and publicly apologize to everyone affected by this situation.”
Charges arose after an incident at Sullinger’s house on Saturday night. Authorities responded to a domestic abuse call, but Sullinger was not home by the time they responded. A warrant had since been out for his arrest. The Celtics’ forward turned himself in around 6 am Tuesday.
Authorities report Smith’s account of events as follows: “Sullinger pushed his girlfriend down on the bed pinning her and then doing the same on the floor until she threatened to call police. He then took the phone and left, heading to Logan Airport for a flight to Ohio.”
According to his lawyer, Sullinger left his residence to attend a pre-arranged visit with his parents in Columbus, Ohio. After hearing there was a warrant out for him, he voluntarily returned home according to their story.
On top of a $5,000 bail set by Judge Gregory C. Flynn, Sullinger has been ordered to only communicate with Smith via a third party.
Sullinger’s lawyer describes the two as “long-time sweethearts” from their days at Ohio State.
He is due back in court on September 19.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express