PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer pleaded guilty on Thursday to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 18 months' probation under a deal with prosecutors following accusations he assaulted his wife on two occasions, a court spokesman said.
Dwyer, 25, was arrested last September over allegations he broke his wife’s nose during a July altercation that police said began when he tried to kiss and undress her against her wishes. She bit his lip to free herself.
Dwyer was also accused of punching her in the face the following day and throwing a shoe at their 18-month-old child at the couple's Phoenix apartment, court documents show. He was not charged with any offenses involving the child.
Dwyer, who court spokesman Vincent Funari said was also sentenced to community service on the misdemeanor charge, made his plea during a brief hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court. He had previously pleaded not guilty to all charges, including for felony assault.
The accusations had put Dwyer, who was placed on the team’s reserve/non-football illness list, among a string of National Football League players to be involved in domestic violence cases that have brought criticism to the league and its commissioner in recent months.
Dwyer’s wife left Arizona shortly after the incidents and notified police on Sept. 11, according to court documents. The running back was arrested six days later at the team’s training facility and released on a $25,000 bond the next morning.
Neither Dwyer's counsel nor officials at the prosecutor's office could immediately be reached for comment.
Reporting by David Schwartz; Writing by Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Peter Cooney