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Bengals draftee Rucker charged with battery

LOS ANGELES (June 21, 2006) -- Bengals defensive end Frostee Rucker has been charged with two counts of spousal battery and vandalism.

The misdemeanor charges were filed after an alleged fight between Rucker and his girlfriend at a party he was hosting in Los Angeles last August, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the city attorney's office.

Rucker's girlfriend, whose name wasn't released, sustained minor injuries in the fight, Mateljan said. The woman's Blackberry and a cell phone were damaged, he said.

There is no warrant for Rucker's arrest. Mateljan said the former Southern California standout was sent a letter requesting his or his lawyer's appearance at an arraignment July 13 in Superior Court.

If convicted, Rucker could face up to three years in county jail.

Rucker denies the charges, his attorney said.

"We're in the process of investigating these charges and intend to uncover evidence which we believe will totally exonerate that," attorney Leonard Levine said. "When we do so, we'll provide evidence to the City Attorney's Office and ask them to dismiss all charges."

A Bengals spokesman says the team does not comment on pending legal matters.

Rucker is the third Bengals player to face criminal charges recently.

Wide receiver Chris Henry turned himself in to authorities last week after he was charged with providing alcohol to underage girls. Linebacker A.J. Nicholson was charged earlier this month with burglarizing the apartment of a former Florida State teammate.

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