Tagoa'i sentenced 21 days for domestic assault

Updated: August 23, 2003, 2:35 AM ET
Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Suspended Nebraska offensive lineman Junior Tagoa'i will be in jail for the Cornhuskers' home opener next week.

Tagoa'i was sentenced Friday to 21 days in jail, beginning Tuesday, and fined $500 for hitting his girlfriend while she was holding their infant child in April. He could have received up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

He also was fined $350 after being found in contempt of court for making an obscene gesture in court at an earlier hearing.

Tagoa'i's attorney, Chris Eickholt, did not comment on whether an appeal would be filed.

Tagoa'i's fate with the football team remained uncertain.

Coach Frank Solich said he will announce Tagoa'i's status with the team after he talks with him, which he expected to do Friday night.

Tagoa'i, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound Hawaii, native was listed No. 1 at right guard on the Cornhuskers' depth chart following spring practice. Because of his suspension, Tagoa'i was not allowed to report to preseason camp, which started Aug. 5.

He is not listed on the depth chart that was released prior to fall camp and he is not included in the media guide.

Tagoa'i, 22, told Lancaster County Judge Gale Pokorny he was working to deal with his problems.

``I made these mistakes and I don't know what caused them,'' Tagoa'i told the judge. ``I just really am trying to work things out with myself.''

The charge came after a 23-year-old woman told police in April that Tagoa'i grabbed her arm and she suffered bruises during a fight at a Lincoln apartment.

Pokorny had harsh words for Tagoa'i.

``That appears to be the way you respond to people who upset you,'' Pokorny said, after he summarized the police report. ``Brute violence toward others, especially women, seems to be your standard reaction to those who displease you.''

Last week he was fined $350 for an unrelated disturbing the peace charge from 2001 also involving his girlfriend.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press