LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office is declining to file charges against attorney Michael Avenatti stemming from his arrest last year on suspicion of domestic violence, but officials said charges could still be brought in the future.
Avenatti, known for representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump over an affair she alleges she had with Trump a decade ago, has vehemently denied the domestic-violence allegations.
The 47-year-old lawyer was arrested Nov. 14 in Century City. He was booked on suspicion of felony domestic violence and released on $50,000 bail, but the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to file any charges and referred the case to the City Attorney’s Office about a week after the arrest.
“The City Attorney’s Office has reviewed all of the reports in this matter and considered all of the evidence,” spokesman Frank Mateljan said.
“This matter has been set for City Attorney Hearings in which both the victim and the suspect will have an opportunity to be heard on different days.” He added, “The victim will be advised of services available to her.
The suspect will be informed that although we decline to file charges at this time, this matter remains open and we may file charges at any time prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations.”
Avenatti took to Twitter shortly after the announcement.
“I am extremely thankful that after three thorough investigations, one by the LAPD, one by the (L.A. District Attorney), and one by the LA City Attorney, the truth of my innocence is now established and no charges are being brought,” he tweeted.
“Every purported victim should have her or his claims investigated. Here, that is exactly what happened. I wish to thank the LAPD, LADA, and LACA for their professionalism during this difficult process. I will continue to speak truth to power and seek justice for my clients.”
Following the November arrest, an actress named Mareli Miniutti obtained a temporary restraining order against Avenatti. Miniutti, 24, claimed in court papers that she and Avenatti began living together in January 2018 and said they got into an argument over money, during which he allegedly called her an “ungrateful, (expletive) bitch.”
She claims in court papers that Avenatti “forcefully” hit her in the face with pillows and dragged her along the floor and into a hallway, causing scratches on her side and leg. According to her court papers, she managed to get out of the apartment and a friend eventually picked her up, after which she called police.
Avenatti’s attorneys, Evan Jenness and Richard Beada, gave a statement to CNN in November saying the couple had an argument, during which Miniutti “behaved in a volatile, agitated and irrational manner.”
“However, Mr. Avenatti did not inflict any corporal injury or cause any traumatic condition upon Ms. Miniutti,” they said.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)