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Bengals LB Maualuga pleads not guilty to assault

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2011, file photo, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga takes a break during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, in Cincinnati. Maualuga was charged with assault on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, after police investigated allegations by an employee at a downtown Cincinnati bar that Maualuga punched him in the face early Sunday morning. FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2011, file photo, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga takes a break during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, in Cincinnati. Maualuga was charged with assault on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, after police investigated allegations by an employee at a downtown Cincinnati bar that Maualuga punched him in the face early Sunday morning. (AP Photo/David Kohl, File)
February 17, 2012
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CINCINNATI—Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga (mow-uh-LOO'-guy) has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.

The three-year veteran's attorney filed a written plea Friday in Hamilton County Municipal Court.

An employee at a downtown Cincinnati bar told police that Maualuga punched him in the face on Feb. 5. Maualuga and the Bengals have not commented on the charge, which could bring a fine or suspension from the NFL.

It's Maualuga's second court case in two years. He pleaded guilty to drunken driving after police in northern Kentucky said he hit a parking meter and two parked cars in January 2010. The league suspended him for two games for violating its conduct policy.

As a repeat offender, he could be suspended by the NFL for part of next season.

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