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Jay Mariotti Will Stand Trial On Assault, Stalking Charges

Jay Mariotti was back in court Tuesday and a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that the former Chicago Sun-Times columnist must stand trial on felony stalking and assault charges stemming from allegations leveled by his former girlfriend. 

In May, Mariotti, who once made his living criticizing sports figures for their boorish off-field behavior, was charged with domestic violence against his then-girlfriend for the second time in eight months. He pleaded no contest in September and save an appearance on Jason Whitlock's "Real Talk" podcast, had disappeared from the public eye until his arrest last month.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Judge Mark Windham ruled Tuesday that there was enough evidence to hold Mariotti to answer on charges that include stalking, corporal injury on a spouse or domestic partner, and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury.

Mariotti could face up to five years in prison if convicted on all counts. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, in addition to two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a court order.

More from the Times:

Attorney Shawn Holley, who is representing Mariotti, said she brought two witnesses to court who were prepared to testify that the allegations against her client were "meritless and inconsistent with the physical evidence in the case." …

Mariotti remains on probation in connection with a misdemeanor domestic-violence case from August 2010. In that case he pleaded no contest, and six other misdemeanor counts -- four domestic-violence-related counts as well as charges of grand theft and false imprisonment -- were dismissed.

Mariotti also worked for ESPN and was the national columnist for the now defunct AOL FanHouse.