Pierce pleads innocent to sexual assault

Updated: October 23, 2002, 6:57 PM ET
Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa basketball player Pierre Pierce pleaded innocent to one count of third-degree sexual assault, according to documents filed Wednesday in Johnson County District Court.

Pierce, 19, is accused of performing unwanted sex acts on a female acquaintance at a party at his Iowa City apartment Sept. 7. The criminal complaint filed states Pierce held the woman's hands over her head and covered her mouth when she tried to scream.

The sophomore guard was suspended indefinitely from the team last month by athletic department officials. A hearing on his appeal was postponed earlier this week and has not been rescheduled.

Pierce, free on bond, was scheduled to make a court appearance Thursday to enter a plea and schedule a trial date. His attorney, Alfredo Parrish, filed a written plea Wednesday, negating the need for Pierce to appear in person, court officials said.

A judge has yet to schedule a trial date in the case. Assistant Johnson County Attorney Anne Lahey said trial scheduling depends on whether Pierce waives his right to a speedy trial, an option under state law.

Parrish did not immediately return a phone message Wednesday.

Lahey said if Parrish opts for a speedy trial, state law requires the judge to set a date within 90 days.


Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press