Pierre Pierce sentenced to four years in prison

Updated: October 28, 2005, 5:38 PM ET
Associated Press

ADEL, Iowa -- Former Iowa basketball star Pierre Pierce was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for assaulting a former girlfriend at her apartment last January.

The 22-year-old player wept as he hugged his parents and relatives after he was sentenced. Moments later, he was handcuffed and escorted a block down the sidewalk to the county jail.

Reading from notes, Pierce apologized to the victim and blamed himself for what happened.

"Not a single day goes by that I don't think about how things could have been different," Pierce told the judge. "Truly, deep down in my heart, I am sorry for my actions."

Pierce pleaded guilty in August to third-degree burglary, a felony, and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, false imprisonment and fourth-degree criminal mischief -- all misdemeanors.

Judge Gregory Hulse gave Pierce a five-year suspended sentence on the burglary charge. But Hulse sentenced Pierce to two years in prison on the assault charge and one year each for false imprisonment and criminal mischief, ordering the sentences be served concurrently.

With good behavior and completion of treatment as a sex offender, Pierce could be released after serving 11 months, said Fred Scaletta, a corrections department spokesman.

Pierce has 30 days to appeal his sentence, but lawyer Alfredo Parrish said he would advise Pierce not to do so.

The charges were filed after police began investigating a Jan. 27 disturbance a the West Des Moines home of a woman Pierce had been dating for 2½ years.

After police confirmed Pierce was the focus of their investigation, Iowa basketball coach Steve Alford dismissed him from the team. At the time, Pierce was the Hawkeyes' leading scorer and best defender.

In 2002, Pierce was charged with third-degree sexual abuse, but pleaded guilty to a lesser crime and was given a deferred judgment.

"This isn't a case about giving a young man a second chance," said Patricia Houlihan, assistant attorney general. "This is a case about holding a repeat offender accountable."

Pierce will be transferred early next week to the Oakdale Treatment Facility in Coralville, where he will be evaluated.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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