Slammer Willoughby won't get jail in assault


POSTED: Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Former University of Hawaii All-American volleyball player and Olympic medalist Kim Willoughby will not have to spend time in prison for assaulting a woman outside a Kakaako nightclub more than two years ago.

Willoughby, 28, pleaded no contest yesterday to second-degree assault in a plea deal with the state. She was charged with first-degree assault.

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn accepted the agreement, which requires her to sentence Willoughby to five years' probation. The deal also requires Willoughby to pay her victim's medical expenses.

In the meantime she remains free on $50,000 bail.

Willoughby left the court yesterday without comment. She will be sentenced in July.

Deputy Prosecutor Sherri Chun said Willoughby and the victim's friend got into a fight at Pipeline Cafe on Dec. 16, 2006. When the victim tried to separate the two, Willoughby pushed her in the face, knocking her down.

“;Her friend and her tried to leave the nightclub. They were followed by the defendant, and the defendant punched her several times in the face, breaking her nasal bone and eye socket,”; Chun said.

The victim has recovered.

In retrospect, Chun said second-degree assault is the appropriate charge.

According to state law, first-degree assault, a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, results in serious bodily injury. Second-degree assault, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison, results in substantial bodily injury.

Police and prosecutors have charged second-degree assault when the victim suffers a broken bone and first-degree assault when the victim suffers permanent disfigurement.

This will be Willoughby's first felony conviction.

In 2001 she pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor assaults. However, after complying with probationlike conditions for a year, including staying out of trouble, the court cleared her record of the charges.

One of the conditions of her current probation will be drug testing, Chun said.

Willoughby is already facing allegations of steroid use.

The Italian Olympic Committee reported last week that Willoughby tested positive for nandrolone after a professional volleyball match on April 5. She played for the club team Perugia at the time.

Willoughby was a three-time All-American at UH and the 2003 National Player of the Year her senior season.

In 2008 she was a member of the U.S. Women's volleyball team, which took silver at the Beijing Olympics.