Friday, Aug. 19, 2011 | 11:45 a.m.
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Heavyweight mixed martial arts fighter Michael "Iron Mike" Whitehead reached an agreement today with Clark County prosecutors to make a no-contest Alford plea for allegedly attempting to sexually assault a woman about a year and a half ago in his Las Vegas home.
Whitehead, 30, who was scheduled to appear today for his preliminary hearing on the charge in Las Vegas Justice Court, went instead with his attorney, William Terry, to a meeting room outside Justice of the Peace Janiece Marshall’s courtroom to go over the deal reached with the Clark County District Attorney’s office.
Upon their return to the courtroom, William Terry, Whitehead’s attorney, told the judge that Whitehead will unconditionally waive his right to the preliminary hearing.
And when Whitehead is arraigned in Clark County District Court, he will plead guilty, under the Alford court decision, to a lesser charge of one felony count of attempted sexual assault, Terry said.
Whitehead had been arrested on charges of sexual assault, attempted sexual assault and open and gross lewdness and also faced possible drug charges involving marijuana found growing in his home.
Under the agreement, the district attorney’s office will make no recommendation on sentencing, assuming that Whitehead gets a favorable psycho-sexual report prior to sentencing, Terry said.
Marshall made sure that Whitehead understood what rights he was waiving and set his arraignment time in Clark County District Court for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 12 in the lower level arraignment courtroom.
The alleged incident happened April 10, 2010, when a woman filed a police report that the MMA fighter had assaulted her.
The woman told police she and a friend had gone to Whitehead's home for a barbecue, then after drinking, decided not to drive home, according to a police report.
The report said Whitehead told the women that they could sleep in his bed.
One of the women said she awoke to find her pants down and Whitehead having sex with her in the bed. Although she repeatedly demanded that he stop, he didn't for about three minutes, according to the police report.
After the alleged incident, Whitehead sat in a chair in the bedroom, police said. The second woman, who had been next to the woman on the bed, said she witnessed the alleged assault, according to the police report. The second woman alleged that Whitehead had also groped her during the incident, the report said.
When police went to Whitehead’s home with a search warrant, detectives discovered that one of the upstairs bedrooms was being used to house a marijuana grow operation with more than 40 plants, according to a police report. However, no charges were filed concerning the marijuana plants.
After turning himself in on April 14, Whitehead was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on a charge of sexual assault, attempted sexual assault and open and gross lewdness. Whitehead posted $14,000 bail and was released that same day.
Police said after Whitehead surrendered to authorities, police were contacted by the woman, who said she received a text message from Whitehead’s phone that said “Babe I’m really sorry about last night!! I’m very ashamed!” Police said the woman thought it was in reference to the sexual assault incident.
According to Sherdog.com, Whitehead’s record is 26 wins and seven losses. The 6-foot-1, 261-pound fighter lists Salt Lake City as his home.
He became more widely known when he was featured in the second season of Spike TV's "The Ultimate Fighter."