Parole denied for former Iowa hoops star Pierce

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Former University of Iowa basketball
star Pierre Pierce, convicted last fall of assaulting and
terrorizing his girlfriend, will not be released from prison early.

Pierce learned Monday that one of five members of the Iowa
parole board rejected his early release, forcing him to remain in
prison until Sept. 24.

The panel's vote had to be unanimous for Pierce to get out

Pierce's attorney Alfredo Parrish called the decision an
"insignificant gesture" because Pierce is already close to being

Three board members voted last month to parole Pierce, and he
was told he would know the remaining two votes within 30 days. It's
unknown which of the members rejected parole.

Pierce, 23, formerly of Westmont, Ill., pleaded guilty last
August to three crimes stemming from a January incident at the West
Des Moines home of a former girlfriend.

Just minutes before his trial was to begin, Pierce reached a
plea bargain negotiated with the Iowa attorney general's office.
Under the deal, Pierce pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary,
assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, false imprisonment and
fourth-degree criminal mischief.

He was sentenced up to two years in prison, but his sentence was
cut in half due to good behavior and completion of sex offender

Pierce was dismissed from the Iowa basketball team by coach
Steve Alford within days of police confirming that Pierce was being
investigated. At the time, Pierce was the third-leading scorer in
the Big Ten and one of three team captains.