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Ex-Patriots LB Willie McGinest charged with 2 felonies over alleged nightclub assault

Sep 29, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots former player and current NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest on the field prior to a game between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Willie McGinest is facing years in prison for a nightclub incident caught on video. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

Former New England Patriots linebacker and suspended NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest has been charged with two felonies stemming from an alleged assault at a Los Angeles-area nightclub in December, according to USA Today.

McGinest reportedly faces charges, one count each from the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, of assault with a deadly weapon and assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury, with an arraignment hearing set for April.

Per the California penal code, both charges carry a maximum prison sentence of four years each and a possible fine of $10,000.

The alleged incident occurred Dec. 9 at a nightclub in West Hollywood and was captured on video obtained by TMZ. The video shows McGinest and three acquaintances walk up to a man sitting in a booth and briefly exchange words, then McGinest hitting the man as he stands up and holding him as the others hit him.

Before the conflict is broken up, McGinest appears to repeatedly hit the man with a large glass bottle.

McGinest later turned himself in and was soon indefinitely suspended from NFL Network. He released a statement days later apologizing for the incident, calling the situation "an isolated incident" and promised nothing like it would happened again.

McGinest, who was found not guilty in a sexual assault trial in 1990 during his college career at USC and was sued for assault over a different incident in 2016, retired from the NFL after the 2008-09 season.

In 15 seasons, most of which were spent with the Patriots, he won three Super Bowl rings, two Pro Bowl honors and a spot in the Patriots' Hall of Fame. He finished his career with 86 career sacks, 17 fumble recoveries, 16 forced fumbles and 804 total tackles.