Jay Mariotti Pleads No Contest to Domestic Violence Charge, Avoids Jail

ESPN analyst, AOL columnist gets three years probation

Jay Mariotti, the ESPN analyst and AOL blogger, pleaded no contest on Thursday to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence stemming from an August fight with his girlfriend — part of a plea deal that will keep the sports journalist out of jail.

The Los Angeles County Court Commissioner dismissed the remaining six misdemeanor counts — including one for false imprisonment. Each count carried a maximum penalty of a year in jail; if he had been convicted of each, he would have faced seven years in prison.

Instead, Mariotti was placed on three years probation.

As part of the plea deal, he must perform 40 hours of community service, complete a 52-week domestic violence course “and stay away from the victim in the case.”

"Jay is very pleased to have this matter behind him and is anxious to get back to work," Nick Hanna, Mariotti's attorney, said in a statement. "While we are confident he would have prevailed at trial, the process would have been long and expensive. Today's resolution — a no contest plea to a low-level misdemeanor with all of the other charges dismissed — ends the matter once and for all."

Mariotti may be anxious to get back to work, but it's unclear where that will be.

Following the August incident, AOL suspended Mariotti. ESPN effectively did, too, as he has not appeared on “Around The Horn” or any other ESPN program since.

"We have no plans to use him at this time," a spokesperson for ESPN told TheWrap on Thursday.