Judge modifies Garrison's sentence

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. -- Former University of Maryland
basketball player Travis Garrison won't have to serve time in
prison or register as a sex offender after a judge modified his
original sentence Monday for assaulting a woman at a bar in 2005.

Garrison, a forward who now plays professionally for the Great
Falls Explorers in the Continental Basketball Association, pleaded
guilty in June to second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex
assault for slapping and grabbing the woman at a College Park bar
in October 2005.

Following the plea, a Prince George's County District Court
judge ordered Garrison to serve two years of probation, take anger
management courses and perform 100 hours of community service. Ten
of those community service hours will be lecturing in front of
other Maryland athletes on the "perils of such conduct,"
according to prosecutors.

But the judge also ordered Garrison to spend 10 days in prison
and register as a sex offender. Garrison was unaware at the time he
agreed to plead guilty that he could face such a punishment and
appealed the sentence, according to his current attorney.

"He was surprised to have to register as a sex offender. He was
dismayed by the sentence," said Thomas Mooney, who was hired by
Garrison after he replaced the lawyer who handled his plea.

Circuit Court Judge Michael Whalen agreed Monday to place the
sex-offense charge on an inactive docket, meaning if Garrison
completes the terms of his probation for the assault charge, the
case will eventually be dropped.

Garrison was charged after a woman said he assaulted her at the
popular student bar Cornerstone Grill & Loft in downtown College
Park on Oct. 27, 2005. The woman told police Garrison grabbed her
buttocks three times and struck her in the face after she pushed
him away. The blow left her with a split lip.

Mooney said Garrison admitted to the inappropriate conduct, but
was unaware if he has apologized to the woman. He was not present
for Monday's hearing.

The decision to place the case on the inactive docket was done
with the consent of the woman, said Prince George's Assistant
State's Attorney Derron Parks.

Garrison was a McDonald's all-American in high school and
averaged eight points per game during the 2005-2006 season, his
last at Maryland. He has since played for the Los Angeles D-Fenders
in the NBA's development league and the CBA's Explorers in Montana.