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avenatti
Credit: Kelsey Warren

Authorities in California declined to bring felony domestic violence charges against attorney Michael Avenatti after his girlfriend, Mareli Miniutti, alleged Avenatti physically and verbally abused her. 

In a series of tweets and statements, the 1996 College graduate vehemently denied the allegations and expressed confidence that he would be declared innocent. 

The Los Angeles County district attorney referred Avenatti's case to the city attorney's office for a potential misdemeanor charge, The Associated Press reported.

On Nov. 14, Avenatti was arrested in Los Angeles on felony domestic abuse charges. The celebrity attorney posted bail later that night and described the allegations as "completely bogus."

At the time, the victim remained unknown and TMZ originally incorrectly identified her as Avenatti's estranged wife.

A week later, CNN reported Miniutti had obtained a restraining order against Avenatti. Miniutti, who had been dating Avenatti since October 2017, claimed the lawyer hit her face with pillows, dragged her across the floor, and called her abusive names.

Avenatti rose to fame defending adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her bid to annul a non-disclosure agreement she signed with Donald Trump. In the process, the lawyer became a prominent critic of the president and has publicly flirted with contesting the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

But his burgeoning political stock suffered a blow after last week's arrest — yet Avenatti has maintained his innocence ever since the initial arrest. 

"The allegations made against me are FALSE. I am innocent and I did not do what I have been accused of doing," Avenatti tweeted on Nov. 20. "I look forward to ALL of the facts and evidence coming to light."

After the DA decided against pressing charges, Avenatti released a statement which said he was "especially grateful for justice."

In a Thanksgiving Day tweet, Avenatti said he was thankful for a "justice system that has at its core the ideas of investigation, evidence and facts."

The Penn alumnus has repeatedly cited video footage as possible exculpatory evidence in his case, yet CNN noted that some of Miniutti's allegations would have occurred inside the apartment. In a statement to police, Avenatti's lawyers did not mention any surveillance footage inside the apartment.

The allegations came shortly after Avenatti visited Penn's campus on Nov. 9 for two different speaker events hosted by the Philomathean Society, Penn Democrats, and the Government and Politics Association.

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