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Apr 1, 2015 4:33 PM

Woman recants allegation ex-Alabama player assaulted her

The Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) The woman who said former Alabama football player Jonathan Taylor assaulted her has recanted the allegations and was arrested.

The 24-year-old woman, who has not been identified, was charged with False Reporting to Law Enforcement, Tuscaloosa police said Wednesday in a release. She was released from the Tuscaloosa County Jail on bond.

The charges will be reviewed by the court system, said Lt. Kip Hart, assistant commander of the Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide unit, which oversees domestic violence cases.

The Tuscaloosa County district attorney's office did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Alabama also didn't respond to q request for comment.

Taylor was arrested on Saturday and coach Nick Saban dismissed the defensive lineman the following day. He was charged with domestic violence third-degree assault and domestic violence third-degree criminal mischief after the woman reported injuries to her neck and damage to her apartment. She had said a verbal argument allegedly turned physical.

Two days later, she contacted investigators and said Taylor had not hurt her. She maintained in further interviews on Tuesday that she had lied about the incident that led to Taylor's arrest.

Officers also "observed physical injuries" to the woman before making the arrest, Hart said.

Kathryn Boortz, an Atlanta criminal defense attorney focused on family violence, said the woman's recantation makes getting a conviction difficult if a decision is made to still pursue the charges.

"It's incredibly common for accusers to recant and this makes it extremely difficult for the prosecution because there's usually only one witness," said Boortz, a former public defender. "Sometimes, particularly in a high profile case such as with an athlete, prosecutors will stay in the game longer to show they're not giving a free pass because of the athlete's semi-celebrity status.

"The prosecutor is more likely to go the extra mile in speaking with the accuser or seeking out neighbors or other witnesses."

The 6-foot-4, 335-pound lineman was dismissed from Georgia in July 2014 following his arrest on aggravated assault and family violence charges for allegedly punching and choking his girlfriend. That case is still pending.

Saban said Monday night that he was sorry for how it turned out but not for giving Taylor another chance. Taylor had been undergoing counseling at Alabama, and Saban said he hadn't missed a session.

"I still think he's a good person," the coach said. "I think he has a problem and a circumstance that is not acceptable."

Taylor was one of three Alabama players arrested in a four-day span, and reserve running back Tyren Jones was also dismissed following his arrest for marijuana possession. Jones had been suspended from the team since February.


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