Attorney: Lawmaker denies assault allegations, won’t resign


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An attorney for a Virginia lawmaker says her client did not assault family members in his home and won’t resign.

Media outlets report attorney Nicole Belote issued a statement Tuesday that state Del. Rick Morris “adamantly denies” the allegations and is confident the legal process will show his innocence.

Morris didn’t appear in person Tuesday for arraignment. He was arrested last week on 14 counts including felony cruelty and injuries to children and misdemeanor domestic assault of a woman in the family.

Belote says Morris has respectfully declined a call from the House speaker and other top Republicans to step down.

Police say Morris assaulted a boy at home Sept. 16, causing “injuries consistent with excessive physical discipline.” Police say Morris assaulted the woman last Dec. 23 during an argument.

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