January 9, 2013
A charge against a former girls soccer player found guilty of biting an opponent was dropped Wednesday morning in an Albemarle County court.
Katrina Ditta was found guilty of assault for attacking a player during a game against Western Albemarle High School back in July. Ditta appealed the ruling, and now both sides are moving toward putting it in the past.
The Commonwealth has filed a motion to have the case "nolle prossed," essentially dropping the charge.
Commonwealth Attorney Jon Zug says he was contacted by the accuser's father, saying the girl did not want to go forward with the trial. They're saying what needed to be accomplished has been accomplished.
A judge granted the motion.
Ditta's attorneys have now filed a petition to have the charge expunged from her records.
Ditta would not comment on the situation, but her attorney did issue a statement that said, in part: "She wishes to express her deepest appreciation to all the family, friends, teammates, soccer referees, school officials and the Fluvanna fans that have come forward on her behalf."
The statement also says Ditta would like to especially thank the individuals from Western Albemarle who came forward on her behalf.
This is the full statement from Ditta's attorney:
"Katrina Ditta's good name was besmirched by a charge made against her 7 months ago. Since then she has worked to regain her good name. Katrina Ditta stands here today after a major step towards regaining her good name has been accomplished; the charge against her has been dropped. The Commonwealth made a motion to have the case nolle prossed (not prosecuted) based, among other things, on the prosecution's desire to avoid to wasting valuable judicial resources on trying this case because, if it had been tried, a jury could have easily found reasonable doubt. Judge Higgins granted the Commonwealth's motion and has entered an Order nolle prossing the charge."
"The process of clearing her name has been a long one for Ms. Ditta -- a process that is almost, but not yet fully, concluded. Therefore, Ms. Ditta will wait to comment any further until the process is finished. Until then, however, she wishes to express her deepest appreciation to all the family, friends, teammates, soccer referees, school officials, and the Fluvanna fans that have come forward on her behalf. She especially wants to thank those individuals from the Western Albemarle organization who voluntarily came forward of their own accord expressing their support and willingness to testify on her behalf. The support of each of these people has been invaluable during this difficult time."