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USC Football Player Accused of Attacking Girlfriend Sentenced to 1 Year in Jail

USC freshman receiver Joseph Lewis (1) runs downfield to cover a punt during a game against Western Michigan on Sept. 2. (Credit: Shotgun Spratling / Los Angeles Times)

USC freshman receiver Joseph Lewis (1) runs downfield to cover a punt during a game against Western Michigan on Sept. 2. (Credit: Shotgun Spratling / Los Angeles Times)

An 18-year-old who played football for USC received a one-year jail sentence on Monday in a domestic violence case.

Joseph Freeman Lewis IV hit, scratched and strangled his girlfriend during a fight on July 18, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The attack happened just 12 days after he was released from jail, authorities said.

Lewis had spent three weeks in custody in connection with two episodes of domestic battery that happened in February, the Los Angeles Times reported.

He was arrested again the day of the July 18 incident, county records show. A week later, the District Attorney’s Office charged him with a felony count of injuring his girlfriend, to which Lewis pleaded no contest on Monday.

The former student athlete played in at least 11 games for USC before being suspended, a school spokesman said in February.

“USC takes all reports of domestic abuse seriously and is cooperating fully with the law enforcement investigation,” Tim Tessalone said in a statement at the time.

In addition to serving 365 days in jail, a judge also sentenced Lewis to five years of formal probation and 52 “domestic violence classes.”

The court also issued a 10-year restraining order, the District Attorney’s Office said.

 

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