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Albert Hopes To Continue Career

October 25, 1997

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) _ After apologizing to the lover he was convicted of assaulting, Marv Albert said he hoped to put his broadcasting career back together. His agent said it’s not a farfetched idea.

The agent, Evan Bell, said he has been deluged with job offers for his client and hopes Albert’s fans give the disgraced sportscaster another chance.

``He’s still the best in the business and he will be again,″ Bell said.

Circuit Judge Benjamin N.A. Kendrick spared Albert, 56, from a jail sentence on Friday, in effect deferring sentencing.

For the next year, Albert must receive counseling and the judge will check periodically on his progress. If he commits a crime during that period, he could go to jail, but his record will be cleared if he obeys.

Albert pleaded guilty last month to assault and battery and could have been sent to jail for up to a year. Prosecutors dropped forcible sodomy charges punishable by five years to life in prison.

NBC fired Albert within hours of his plea, which ended a trial filled with details of his sex life. He resigned from his job as a TV announcer for basketball’s New York Knicks and hockey’s New York Rangers on the Madison Square Garden Network.

Outside court, Albert said: ``I’m just looking to put the pieces of my life back together and eventually restore my broadcasting career.″

In court, Albert apologized to Vanessa Perhach, 42, the woman who said he threw her on a bed, bit her back more than a dozen times and forced her to perform oral sex on him at a hotel Feb. 12.

While Albert did offer an apology, he said in the same breath that biting was ``normal activity″ when the two had sex.

``In the past, there was consensual biting. On this particular evening, I did not realize until her testimony that she felt she was harmed,″ Albert testified. ``For that I am sorry.″

As Albert spoke, Ms. Perhach shook her head. Prosecutors had taken the unusual step of calling Albert to the stand in an attempt to show that he was not truly remorseful.

Legal experts said Albert received no special treatment as a celebrity.

``In a garden-variety assault and battery case, this is the most usual disposition,″ said James Clark, a lawyer who practices in Arlington. ``If he got off easy he got off just as easy as everybody else.″

Outside court, defense attorney Roy Black criticized prosecutors, saying the case was brought simply to grab headlines.

Ms. Perhach’s lawyer, Dan Morissette, said his client was satisfied with the sentence, and ``most satisfied with the fact that he finally said he is sorry.″

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