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Rodney Austin gets 12 months probation, must complete intervention program

Former Detroit Lions offensive lineman Rodney Austin was sentenced to 12 months supervised probation Thursday as a result of the guilty verdict in his misdemeanor assault case.

The court also ruled Austin must complete a certified intervention program for batterers. If Austin completes the probation and the intervention program, the court will dismiss the charges.

"For this misdemeanor, we felt it was better for Rodney to have everything dismissed from his record after he completes the program than appeal the judge's decision to a jury, which likely would not go to trial for many months," said Mark Magazu, Austin's agent, in a statement. "This program will allow him to continue with his career and his life ultimately with a perfectly clean record once everything is dismissed. I commend Mark Jetton, Rodney's attorney, and the District Attorney's office for agreeing to this program which will ultimately have everything dismissed upon completion.

"I urge everyone to keep things in context: this is a misdemeanor, and Rodney maintains his innocence but sees no benefit to continued litigation over a misdemeanor. I've known him for years and he is a good, honest young man who should not be lumped together with the NFL's most notorious."

On Tuesday, Austin was found guilty in a North Carolina courtroom on four counts: assault on a female; assault on a child under 12; misdemeanor larceny; and interfering with emergency communication.

The charges stemmed from an April 5 altercation between Austin and his ex-girlfriend. According to the police report, Austin pushed his ex-girlfriend down while she was holding their infant child at the Alexander Place Apartments in Charlotte, North Carolina. Austin took his ex-girlfriend's cellphone, a Samsung S5, and destroyed it after she said she videotaped the incident.

No arrests were made at the time, and the police report indicated neither the ex-girlfriend nor the child had been injured. But the woman filed a report with the magistrate in North Carolina later that month and a warrant was issued for Austin's arrest April 17.

The Lions released Austin on April 21.