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NFL to send court reporter to ex-Lions' OL Rodney Austin's trial

The NFL has told the Mecklenburg County district attorney's office that it plans to send a court reporter to the trial of former Detroit Lions offensive lineman Rodney Austin when it begins Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Meghan Cooke, a community liaison coordinator in the district attorney's office, said the league sent an email to the DA's office that it plans on sending a court reporter to the trial.

This could theoretically assist the league in any investigation it might want to do on its own about the case. The NFL declined comment because they don't feel it is appropriate to discuss how their investigators do their work.

Austin was arrested April 17 and charged with four crimes -- assault on a female, assault on a child under 12, misdemeanor larceny and interfering with emergency communication. His trial begins at 9 a.m. ET at the Mecklenburg County courthouse.

The Lions released Austin on April 21.

The warrants for Austin's arrest alleged Austin picked up his ex-girlfriend by her arms and threw her to the ground while she was holding their 8-month-old child. The warrants also allege Austin threw the woman's cell phone over a balcony after she claimed to videotape the incident.

The alleged incident took place on April 5 and a police report was filed at 2:20 a.m. ET. No arrests were made at the time and the report indicated neither the woman or child had been injured, but an arrest warrant was filed after the woman went to the magistrate later that month.

The victim alleged in the magistrate report that "Austin assaulted me and assaulted me with my child in my arms. [Austin] also smashed my phone because I recorded the incident. I was thrown into the living room and then pushed down with child causing me to fall. [Austin] snatched the phone while I tried to call police and took it outside and smashed it to pieces."

Austin's attorney, Mark Jetton, said in a statement in April that Austin wanted to fight the allegations.

"Rodney maintains his innocence and has instructed our legal team to pursue any legal avenue possible to clear his name,” Jetton said. "He understands the extraordinary sensitivity of the domestic-violence issue, especially surrounding the NFL at this time.

"He will be respectful of the legal process and plans to play again in the NFL."