The woman who obtained a restraining order in a domestic violence case against Patriots receiver Randy Moss had the order dissolved and the case closed yesterday, saying through her lawyer that there was no malicious intent.
Rachelle Washington, 35, had alleged that Moss caused her serious injury in a Jan. 6 incident in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., then denied her medical attention. The restraining order barred Moss from coming within 500 feet of Washington.
Washington's lawyer, Darrell Thompson, explained the turn of events last night.
"My client, acting solely on the advice of her former attorney, filed for the temporary restraining order against Mr. Moss. She has decided that such restraining order is unnecessary and has requested the order be dismissed," Thompson said in a statement.
"Because the injuries sustained were not the result of any malicious intent by Mr. Moss, a claim for her damages will be submitted to his insurance company."
Moss had vehemently defended himself against the charges. In an emotional scene inside the Patriots locker room Jan. 16, he claimed her injury was the result of an accident.
His attorney, Richard A. Sharpstein, noted yesterday that Moss is "pleased this has finally been put in its proper perspective."
"Randy is thrilled that the restraining order has finally been dismissed, and that there has been acknowledgement that these injuries were not intentionally inflicted," Sharpstein said, adding that Moss is expected to submit a claim to his insurance company for medical bills incurred by Washington for a hand injury.
While the case is now closed, Thompson contested Sharpstein's remarks that there was an acknowledgement from Washington that the injuries were not intentionally inflicted.
"I have read Mr. Sharpstein's comments regarding an acknowledgement by my client and for the record, my client has not made any statements on the matter and no such acknowledgement exists," Thompson said in his statement.
In an agreement reached by both parties at Broward County (Fla.) Domestic Violence Court in late January, the restraining order had been extended until March 28.
But on March 3 at the Broward County Circuit Court clerk's office, Washington officially filed the papers to dissolve the restraining order and close the case. The dismissal was signed by a judge Monday.
In originally petitioning the court, Washington alleged that Moss battered her at her Fort Lauderdale residence Jan. 6, causing serious injury, and then denied her medical attention. Moss and Washington had been friends for 11 years, with Washington saying they had an intimate relationship.
When the allegations became public Jan. 16, Moss indicated there was an accident and said Washington, through her prior attorney, had asked for "six figures" to make the incident disappear. He also expressed concern that the allegations could create a distraction in the days leading up to the AFC Championship game.
The next day, Washington's then-lawyer, David K. McGill, stated that it was Moss who first proposed "a six-figure settlement with the hopes of not having this incident become public record."
In turn, Moss's lawyers angrily fired back, with agent Tim DiPiero stating in an e-mail that he contacted the FBI and US Attorney's office in Moss's home state of West Virginia alleging that McGill was trying to "shake down" Moss.
DiPiero noted in this e-mail that he told McGill that Moss was willing to pay for Washington's medical bills as well as her pain and suffering.
"[McGill] said he was not interested in insurance or what her injuries were," DiPiero said in the e-mail. "He said he was evaluating her claim based on what Randy stood to lose."
In late January, Washington changed attorneys.
Mike Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.