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Here’s why the charge against actor Stacey Dash was dropped

The Pasco County charge was quickly dropped by prosecutors after her husband told them she did not commit a crime.
A charge of misdemeanor domestic battery was dropped against actor Stacey Dash, who was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office on Sept. 29.
A charge of misdemeanor domestic battery was dropped against actor Stacey Dash, who was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office on Sept. 29. [ Pasco County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Oct. 4, 2019
Updated Oct. 4, 2019

Prosecutors have dropped a charge of misdemeanor domestic battery against actor Stacey Lauretta Dash.

The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office conducted its own investigation into the allegations ― which is customary ― and said it came to a different conclusion than the arresting deputy.

“After we completed our investigation, we determined there was not a criminal offense to prosecute," said Assistant State Attorney Bryan Sarabia, who oversees prosecutions in west Pasco County.

RELATED STORY: Watch actor Stacey Dash calmly handle Pasco County arrest

Dash, 52, known for her role in the 90s comedy, “Clueless,” was arrested on Sept. 29 by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. The State Attorney’s Office filed notice with the court on Thursday that it dropped the charge.

The arrest report said Dash got into an argument with husband Jeffrey Marty at an Odessa apartment complex off Trinity Boulevard and Duck Slough Boulevard on a Sunday night. She pushed him and slapped his face, the report said, leaving the victim with “red scratch marks to his left upper arm.”

“The deputy obviously thought that he had probable cause," Sarabia said, "and it would appear that he did. But after I watched all the body worn cameras and I read all the reports and I spoke to Mr. Marty, I determined there was not a criminal offense to prosecute.”

Her husband is a former public defender who still handles criminal defense cases at the West Pasco Judicial Center. Is it unusual for charges to be dropped so quickly?

“It depends how quickly we can get the report," Sarabia said. "So once we get the documents, we can do it pretty quick, if we have it.”

In this case, Sarabia said the husband came to his wife’s first court appearance and said his wife did not commit a crime.

“The fact that she got arrested was clearly a surprise to him,” Sarabia said.

The prosecutor said Dash’s celebrity status ― she also spent three years as a commentator at Fox News ― played no role in his office’s quick decision.

“It does not always happen that all the things come together and align to get it together that quick,” Sarabia said.

Marty addressed his wife’s arrest Thursday Twitter post:

“Today, the State Attorney made the right call by declining to file charges against my wife ... she was arrested over my objection at the time ...”

He added that he and Dash “look forward to getting this behind us.”