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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

No finding of guilt as Geno Hayes' case is closed



Even as the case against cornerback Aqib Talib is just beginning to take shape, another criminal matter involving a Buccaneers defender is being wrapped up.

The case against Tampa Bay linebacker Geno Hayes, who was arrested in December on charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing, is now closed, according to his attorney, Andrew Shein. Prosecutors reached an agreement with Hayes that resulted in the disorderly conduct charge being dropped while Hayes pleaded no contest to the trespassing charge.

Both charges were misdemeanors, stemming from a late-night confrontation with club security and a police officer at Tampa's Blue Martini nightclub.

The court will withhold adjudication on the trespassing charge. Hayes will not be required to perform community service or serve any other sentence, not uncommon in similar cases. Hayes will only be required to pay $265 in court costs.

The fact that the charges will not be adjudicated could potentially help Hayes once this case is inevitably reviewed by NFL officials to determine whether there was a violation of the league's personal conduct policy. However, commissioner Roger Goodell has in the past handed down discipline even in cases where players were not technically found guilty of a crime.

Talib was suspended by Goodell for one game last season following a 2009 arrest for misdemeanor battery. Like this case, Talib's case was resolved without a formal finding of guilt, but that didn't spare Talib from Goodell's discipline (Talib did have to fulfill several obligations such as anger management courses, completing them in November).

Hayes has been a critical piece of the Bucs' defense as a starter the past two seasons, when he has been among the team's leading tacklers. The starting weak-side linebacker was second on the club with four sacks last season.

Hayes' arrest came after an incident at the club in which police say he became defiant when asked to leave the establishment. Police said a physical confrontation ensued, with a Taser gun being used on Hayes before he was tackled to the ground by an officer and arrested.

[Last modified: Monday, April 4, 2011 12:19pm]


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