Trial date set for Holmes on domestic abuse charge

Updated: July 7, 2006, 4:48 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli |

Pittsburgh Steelers first-round draft choice Santonio Holmes on Friday was ordered to stand trial Aug. 15 on assault and domestic violence charges stemming from an alleged June 19 incident involving the mother of his five-month-old daughter.

Columbus (Ohio) Municipal Court Judge Michael Brandt set the court date despite the continued refusal of the alleged victim to testify against the former Ohio State star. The woman has asked that the charges against Holmes be dismissed.

Holmes, who also has two children with a Florida woman, remains free on $3,500 bond. His attorney is expected to continue his efforts to have the charges, which are both first-degree misdemeanors, dismissed.

If the trial date holds firm, however, Holmes, who is expected to contribute immediately to the passing game of the defending Super Bowl champions, would be forced to leave the Steelers less than three weeks into his first NFL training camp. Holmes was already behind most of the Pittsburgh first-year players because of a league rule that precludes all rookies from participating in more than one orientation-type minicamp until their school holds its commencement exercises.

Holmes, 22, also faces a hearing in Miami Beach next Wednesday on disorderly conduct charges resulting from his arrest there on Memorial Day weekend.

The arrests likely will bring Holmes under the purview of the league's personal conduct policy and might means NFL sanctions before he ever plays his first regular-season game.

The Steelers traded up in the first round to select Holmes with the 25th overall choice and viewed him as a potential replacement for former starter Antwaan Randle El, who defected to the Washington Redskins as an unrestricted free agent. Viewed by most league scouts as the top wide receiver prospect in the 2006 draft class, Holmes had 140 receptions for 2,295 yards and 25 touchdowns in three college seasons. He also returned kickoffs and punts.