By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — A judge dismissed an assault charge against Bengals LB Rey Maualuga on Thursday after learning the dispute was settled in mediation.
He still faces possible punishment from the NFL under its personal-conduct policy.
Maualuga was charged with misdemeanor assault after an employee at a downtown bar told police that the middle linebacker punched him in the face on Feb. 5. The case was referred to mediation.
Maualuga appeared in Hamilton County Municipal Court on Thursday for an update hearing that lasted less than two minutes. Judge Heather S. Russell dismissed the case after prosecutors said neither Maualuga nor the bar employee wanted to pursue the matter.
"Thank you judge," Maualuga said, then left the courthouse quickly.
He could be punished by the NFL for getting in trouble a second time.
The league fined him two game checks and made him forfeit a two-week share of his signing bonus in 2010 after he pleaded guilty to drunken driving. Police in northern Kentucky said Maualuga, a second-round pick in 2009, hit a parking meter and two parked cars while driving drunk.
Maualuga got a suspended seven-day jail sentence, had his driver's license suspended and was ordered to participate in an alcohol and drug education program to settle the 2010 case. He also had to make financial restitution for damages from the accident.
He was the fourth Bengal player charged with a crime since last summer.
RB Cedric Benson was charged with misdemeanor assault last July for an altercation with a former roommate in Texas. He served five days in jail there, and was suspended for one game by the NFL. Benson is currently a free agent.
CB Adam "Pacman" Jones pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct for a disturbance at a downtown bar last July. He received a year of probation and community service. He became a free agent after the season and signed another deal with the Bengals.
WR Jerome Simpson served a 15-day jail sentence in northern Kentucky this month after pleading to a drug-related charge for receiving a shipment of marijuana at his home last year. Simpson is an unrestricted free agent and is expected to sign with Minnesota.
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