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Michael Avenatti's ex-girlfriend 'confident' misdemeanor charges coming soon, her lawyer says

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 1/23/2019 Nancy Dillon
a man and woman posing for a photo © Marion Curtis / AP

Michael Avenatti’s former girlfriend is full steam ahead with claims the high-flying lawyer assaulted her – and she’s expecting criminal charges “soon,” her lawyer told the Daily News.

“It is important to Mareli that (prosecutors) act affirmatively in pursing the criminal matter,” lawyer Michael Bachner told The News, referring to his client Mareli Miniutti.

“We are confident that charges will be forthcoming,” Bachner said. “We expect there will be a decision pretty soon.”

Bachner spoke by phone Wednesday after the judge overseeing Miniutti’s civil restraining order case continued a key hearing to March 13.

Bachner, based in Manhattan, said his 24-year-old client has been cooperating with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office after the Los Angeles County District Attorney declined to file felony charges and referred the case for misdemeanor consideration in November.

“Mareli has been entirely cooperative with the City Attorney and has made herself available upon request,” he said. “Her position is this investigation should lead to the appropriate criminal charges, and she’s waiting patiently for the City Attorney to make that decision.”

At the civil court hearing in Santa Monica on Wednesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Susan Lopez-Giss extended Miniutti’s stay-away order against Avenatti to the March date after hearing that the criminal investigation was still pending and Bachner needed more time to get clearance to practice in California.

The delay meant the court did not consider whether there’s enough evidence to extend Miniutti’s temporary restraining order for several years.

“I spoke to her several times, and she said as long as the conditions (of the TRO) remain,” she is amendable to the continuance, Bachner told the judge.

Avenatti’s lawyer, Richard Beada, said his client also agreed to the delay. Beada declined to comment further as he left the courthouse.

Attempts to reach a spokesman for the City Attorney were not immediately successful Wednesday.

Avenatti, best known for his fiery representation of porn star Stormy Daniels against President Trump, was arrested Nov. 14 on suspicion of felony domestic violence.

The lawyer, 47, vehemently denied any wrongdoing after his release on bail and suggested the allegations were fabricated by his political adversaries.

The District Attorney declined to file felony charges a week after the arrest citing a lack of evidence. DA officials referred the case to the City Attorney for possible misdemeanor prosecution.

Miniutti, an aspiring actress and model originally from Estonia, claimed in a sworn statement in her TRO paperwork that Avenatti physically assaulted her on two occasions – once early last year and again Nov. 13.

Miniutti alleged that an intoxicated Avenatti turned “physically violent” and shoved her into a hallway last February, causing her to bang her head on a doorway.

“Respondent then threw my shoes at me, striking me in the leg,” she claimed in court papers obtained by The News.

She said the alleged incident in November erupted over money and included Avenatti calling her an “ungrateful f---ing b---h.”

Miniutti claimed Avenatti “forcefully” hit her in the face with pillows and dragged her across the floor of their shared apartment.

She included photos in her filing of the alleged scratches she suffered on her leg and side.

“I am thankful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has rejected filing any charges against me after a fair, careful and thorough investigation,” Avenatti said in a Twitter post after the DA declined the case.

“I have maintained my innocence since the moment of my arrest. I wish to thank my supporters, friends, family, attorneys and clients for the outpouring of support they provided. This Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for justice,” he said.


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