When I saw that Hayden Pannetteire's father pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery, I thought to myself well that is a nice slippery mess to this whole thing. You will recall that shortly after he was arrested, Hayden's dad Alan said that the whole thing was a misunderstanding and that nothing happened and the police just wanted 15 minutes of fame.
Uh huh. Now with this plea he can always say he was never found guilty of battery and if anyone calls him guilty of it they would be wrong. It's a lovely little plea, this no contest thing. He gets the same sentence as if he had been found guilty, but will force everyone who writes or talks about the case to use extra words and phrases other than the word guilty.
He will say something along the lines of he just wanted to put the whole mess behind him and that he didn't want to put his family through the pain of a trial just to prove his innocence. That he knows he was in the right and that is why he didn't plead guilty.
Whatever. Call it what you will, but everyone knows the truth. Now I am not going to say that I have never advised someone to do the same thing, because I have, but you always feel a little queasy doing it. OK, more than a little queasy. It isn't a victory or vindication, it is just about saving face and trying to muster some kind of plausible denial. Even though he made the statements he did after he was arrested I would have had far more respect for him if he had just pleaded guilty instead of trying to hide behind a technicality. No matter what though, his wife and family know what happened.
Alan was sentenced to two years probation, 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and pay $400 in fines.