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Billy Dee Williams Charged in Spousal Battery Case

February 08, 1996

The Los Angeles city attorney's office has filed misdemeanor charges of spousal battery and dissuading a witness against actor Billy Dee Williams, who was arrested on Jan. 30 for allegedly hitting his girlfriend.

The charges were filed after the district attorney declined to file felony charges.

If convicted, Williams, 58, could face up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine for the battery charge, and an additional six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for dissuading a witness.

According to police, Williams slapped his live-in girlfriend several times on the face and upper body during an argument that erupted while they were driving home for dinner.

Williams attorney has said he expects the actor to be "fully exonerated."

Williams, star of such films as "Lady Sings the Blues" and "Mahogany," is to be arraigned Feb. 25 in Hollywood Municipal Court.

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