The office of District Attorney Mark D'Antionio declined to prosecute NMSU quarterback Tyler Rogers, who is accused of battery.
Rogers, a senior, on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to a battery charge stemming from a domestic dispute with his girlfriend last week. Rogers allegedly grabbed her by the arm on the weekend of Aug. 21. The woman, whom officers said had no bruises, did not want to press charges, police said.
A prosecutor with the district attorney's office was present at the morning hearing, though the D.A. had not decided at the time whether to enter into the case, and the prosecutor had not yet spoken to the alleged victim.
On Wednesday afternoon, Patrick Hayes, the spokesman for 3rd Judicial District Attorney Mark D'Antonio's office said in a statement, "In addition to there being no visible injuries, the alleged victim told prosecutors that the battery did not occur and that she did not wish to prosecute. Obviously, the DA's office takes domestic violence very seriously and will prosecute when the evidence supports the charges."
Rogers was to be arraigned in a Doña Ana County Magistrate courtroom Wednesday morning. ABC-7 was in the courtroom as confusion arose as neither Rogers nor his attorney appeared before Judge Samantha Madrid. Rogers's attorney Larry Ramirez told ABC-7 that both he and Rogers signed a waiver yesterday to appear. The document, however, never reached the judge this morning. Ramirez said his client pleaded not guilty to one count of misdemeanor battery on a household member.
In a statement to ABC-7, Ramirez said, "Tyler and I believe he is innocent. He did not do what he is accused of doing. I do not believe any physical or aggressive behavior took place."
Rogers was expected to start in the season opener against UTEP on Saturday in El Paso. Rogers still faces possible sanctions both by NMSU and head coach Doug Martin. Martin said yesterday he was waiting for the legal process to play out before making any further decision.
While, the school's office of institutional equity is gathering information, Athletic Director Mario Moccia told ABC-7 he is hoping any decision by the university will be determined before the game Saturday.