Pierce faces up to 56 years in prison if convicted

Updated: February 28, 2005, 3:59 PM ET
Associated Press

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.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press