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Pierce faces up to 56 years in prison if convicted

2/28/2005 - Iowa Hawkeyes

ADEL, Iowa -- Former Iowa basketball star Pierre Pierce
pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he assaulted his
ex-girlfriend and ransacked her home.

His trial must begin by mid-May. If convicted on all charges,
Pierce could be sentenced to up to 56 years in prison and fined
$9,000.

He was charged in February with two counts of burglary, assault
with intent to commit sexual assault and criminal mischief. The
burglary and assault charges are felonies. Fourth-degree criminal
mischief is a serious misdemeanor.

Police say Pierce choked his former girlfriend at her home in
West Des Moines on Jan. 27, threatened her with a knife and
stripped her, according to court documents. He also was charged
with stealing a laptop and camera.

Pierce was dismissed from the team Feb. 2, two days after police
named him a suspect. He was the Hawkeyes' leading scorer at the
time.