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Emanuel Is Sentenced: 14 Days and Probation

October 06, 1987|JULIE CART | Times Staff Writer

A judge in Pasadena Municipal Court Monday sentenced USC running back Aaron Emanuel to 14 days in jail and 3 years probation for punching Sharon Hatfield, a former member of the USC women's track team.

Emanuel was convicted of simple battery Aug. 21 for striking Hatfield at a party last spring. Hatfield was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion.

Emanuel slowly shook his head as Judge Judson W. Morris read the sentence. Emanuel's attorney, Lawrence Elkins, had argued that justice would not be served by sending Emanuel to jail. The conviction carries a maximum six-month sentence.

Asst. Deputy District Atty. Dave Demerjian argued for the jail term, saying Emanuel has an "attitude problem" and thought that because of his status as a football player he could get away with striking Hatfield.

Elkins strongly disagreed with Judge Morris' decision to send Emanuel to jail, calling the sentence "harsh."

"I don't think any jail time whatever was warranted," Elkins said. "I didn't even expect a probation of three years. I expected him to be placed on two years' summary probation."

The terms of Emanuel's probation:

--Three years of full probation, which means Emanuel will have to check in once a month with his probation officer.

--Fourteen days in jail, to be served on seven consecutive weekends.

--Emanuel may not have any contact with Hatfield, unless approved either by her or the probation officer.

--Emanuel must serve 104 hours of community service, at least 52 of them at a battered-women's shelter.

--He must continue to receive counseling, with an emphasis on self-control.

Elkins said that Emanuel would not serve his time in the crowded downtown county jail. He hopes to find a less crowded jail with fewer habitual criminals in it.

Emanuel was subdued after the sentencing, saying he had prepared for the worst.

"After all the hurt I've been through and the adjustments I've had, I don't think I can hurt anymore," Emanuel told reporters outside the courtroom. "I feel a great deal of remorse at what has happened and I always have. I'm going to take each day as it comes."

Emanuel had been suspended from the football team and kept out of school on the recommendation of a USC peer panel.

Emanuel said he had been leaning toward returning to USC in January but said he would not make that decision for a while. USC Coach Larry Smith has said that Emanuel is welcome to return to the team.

"I'm glad to hear the situation is finally all cleared up and I'm sure Aaron is too," Smith said. "He knows what he has to do to fulfill his obligations. I feel confident he'll be able to continue his career as both a student and athlete at USC."

If Emanuel chooses to transfer, he will need the permission of his probation officer to leave the area.

Emanuel has already completed a counseling program at USC, a requirement for his readmission to school. Because of that, Elkins said, Emanuel's parole officer may waive the counseling requirements of Emanuel's sentencing.

Emanuel will begin serving his jail term Nov. 6. In April, Elkins and Emanuel will meet with a probation officer to determine if the terms of the probation have been met. At that time, the remainder of his sentence could be suspended.

Emanuel punched Hatfield in the face at a party, after Hatfield had thrown beer in his face for pinching her on the buttocks.

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