EDITOR'S NOTE: Originally posted at 5:31 p.m. Feb. 19 2014. Edited to remove kidnapping from the headline. That charge was dropped days after the initial arrest, according to Duta's publicist.
A former Pepperdine University professor initially accused of kidnapping and assaulting a Santa Monica woman had the charges dropped to a misdemeanor.
Andrei Duta, who now works as a consultant in Austin, said in a press release he was pleased the case was closed.
“I’m grateful to have my good name cleared, once and for all, and to be able to move forward in life, continuing my work in the non-profit and business sectors,” Duta said.
The June 2011 incident involved a dispute with his then-girlfriend, who also was a Pepperdine employee. Duta said she was his supervisor.
After the defendant was on probation for about 1½ years, Judge James Dabney granted a defense motion to reduce the felony count to a misdemeanor and terminated probation, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
Duta must also abide by a 10-year order to stay away from the victim, Santiago said.The conviction now reads as a misdemeanor charge of inflicting corporal injury on spouse/cohabitant, Santiago said.