By Vanessa Miller
General assignment reporter
A domestic assault charge against former University of Iowa wrestling standout Montell Marion has been dropped, and Marion says he hopes to move forward and rise above a string of legal troubles.
The three-time All-American was arrested in August on suspicion of domestic assault causing bodily injury after a woman said Marion slammed her into a fireplace, leaving her with a headache.
Marion and the woman had been in an on-and-off relationship for years, and the woman told Coralville police that Marion had picked her up and slammed her down during a fight at his home.
Marion on Wednesday told The Gazette that the assault never happened. He said the relationship was ending, and the woman lied to authorities.
“She started screaming at the top of her lungs … and saying get off me,” Marion said. “When I got her out of my apartment, she called the cops on me and said I had picked her up and slammed her on the fireplace.
“But there were no injuries because it never happened,” he said.
The charge was dropped Friday, according to online court records.
Marion said he was raised to respect women and to never become violent with them.
“That has certainly never happened in my life,” he said, adding that the false report reflected poorly on his family. “I would hope that people could not fault a father who doesn’t want to turn his back on his son during hard times.”
Marion in March pleaded guilty to driving while barred as a habitual offender and was ordered to pay a fine. The plea, at the time, was meant to close out a string of legal trouble he’d been in over the past two years.
The three-time All-American and two-time NCAA runner-up who tallied more than 90 wins with the Hawkeyes was banned from all team activities in May 2010 after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
That arrest came after Marion had received moving violations for failing to maintain a safe distance and disobeying a traffic signal, according to his attorney. At the same time he received the operating while intoxicated citation, Marion also was ticketed for failure to use a turn signal and failure to obey a traffic control device.
Marion got a speeding ticket in July 2011, making it his sixth moving violation in two years and warranting a year driving ban.
Marion’s once-permanent suspension from the Hawkeye wrestling squad was lifted in January 2011. Despite an offered transfer release from the UI, he chose to stay and try to regain his spot on the team.
Marion earned his spot back and received the team’s Mike J. McGivern Award for the team’s most courageous wrestler. In March, Marion made his second NCAA finals appearance and placed second in an overtime battle.
On Wednesday, Marion told The Gazette that he’s made some poor decisions but, “I’m starting to get my head above water and I want to move ahead with my life.”
“Some people take longer to figure things out in life, and I might be one of those people,” he said.