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Judge rules Albert won't do jail time

Former NBC sportscaster Marv Albert was spared jail time today by a judge who told him his conviction for biting a longtime lover will be dropped if he stays out of trouble for a year.

Albert apologized in court to Vanessa Perhach, who accused him of sexual assault in a hotel room encounter in February."I've known Ms. Perhach for 10 years, we've had this relationship," Albert told the judge. "As I said a moment ago, I'm sorry if she felt she was harmed."

State Judge Benjamin N.A. Kendrick rejected prosecutors' request that Albert serve a short jail term. Albert, 56, faced up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. He pleaded guilty last month to assault and battery, abruptly ending two days of lurid and humiliating testimony about his sex life. Prosecutors dropped a felony sodomy charge in return.

"I have to say that finally common sense has prevailed in this case," defense attorney Roy Black said after the judge deferred sentencing.

Kendrick said he believed that Albert was sorry for the crime based on what he said after being called to the stand by prosecutors.

"In the past, there was consensual biting," Albert testified. "On this particular evening, I did not realize until her testimony that she felt she was harmed.

"For that I am sorry."

During his testimony, Perhach quietly shook her head. Later, when prosecutor Richard Trodden described the attack, Perhach wept softly on the shoulder of a female friend.

Albert stopped briefly to thank his supporters as he left Arlington County Circuit Court with his fiancee, Heather Faulkiner.

"This has been a most difficult time for myself, my fiancee, my family," Albert said. "As to the future, I'm just looking to put the pieces of my life back together and eventually restore my broadcasting career."

Perhach testified in Albert's trial last month that he became angry when she refused his request to bring a man with her to his hotel room for three-way sex. She said he threw her across a bed, bit her back savagely and forced her to perform oral sex.

At an emergency room later, she was treated for more than a dozen bites on her back.

Another woman testified in Albert's trial that he called her to his room in a Dallas hotel, greeted her in women's panties and a garter belt and tried to force her to perform oral sex.

Patricia Masten, who testified that Albert cornered her in the Dallas hotel room and tried to force her to have sex, said she was disappointed by the outcome.

"Personally, I'm very upset that he's not doing any jail time," Masten said. "My main concern is that I hope other females will not be deterred. My concern is also that he is a role model. ... What kind of message are we sending out to the children today? Is it `do anything you want at any time you want and you go free?' "