Williams put on probation for unwanted hug

Updated: June 22, 2004, 8:46 PM ET
Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- University of Miami football recruit Willie Williams pleaded no contest to charges that he hugged a woman without her permission and set off hotel fire extinguishers while on a recruiting trip at the University of Florida.

Williams pleaded no contest Monday to misdemeanor battery in the hugging case and was placed on probation for a year, State Attorney Bill Cervone said.

Williams received a year of probation and was ordered to pay damages to the hotel in the fire extinguisher case. Cervone said the linebacker has already paid about $1,500.

The probation periods will run concurrently.

Adjudication was withheld in both cases, meaning Williams will not have a felony conviction on his record if he meets the terms of his probation, Cervone said.

Williams also agreed to pay $1,300 in damages to a man with whom he fought in a nightclub on the Gainesville visit, although the charge in that case was dropped, Cervone said. The man went to an emergency room and incurred medical expenses, Cervone said.

When Williams took the Jan. 30 recruiting trip, he was nearing the end of an 18-month probation, part of a sentence for July 2002 felony burglary charges to which he had pleaded no contest.

Currently under house arrest, Williams is scheduled for a probation violation status conference with Broward County Circuit Court Judge Michael G. Kaplan on June 30, potentially resolving one of the last major roadblocks to becoming a Hurricane this fall.

Kaplan, who allowed Williams to attend his Miami Carol City High graduation and his prom, could sentence Williams to up to five years in prison, or allow him to go free.

Miami's top recruit has not been allowed to enroll, pending the outcome of his legal situation.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press