John Conyers III, the son of scandalized Rep. John Conyers, was arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of domestic abuse early this year but wasn’t charged, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.
Conyers III, 27, was arrested on Feb. 15 after his girlfriend called the police. The unidentified woman said the younger Conyers accused her of cheating on him, then “body slammed her on the bed and then on the floor where he pinned her down and spit on her,” according to a district attorney’s report quoted by NBC News. The woman claimed that Conyers III took her phone when she tried to call police, chased her into the kitchen and swung a knife at her, resulting in a cut on her arm.
Conyers III asserted that the woman had been drinking and using marijuana and tried to throw him out of her home before they began pushing and shoving one another. He said she threatened him with a knife and cut herself as they struggled.
The arrest was first reported by NBC. A photo included in court records showed the wound, which appeared to be a few inches long and was stitched closed. The records also included photos of bruises, which the woman said came from being grabbed by Conyers in July 2016.
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The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office chose not to move forward with the February case, citing a “lack of independent witnesses” and investigators’ conclusions that it “could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim’s injury was not accidentally sustained.” The report added that neither Conyers nor his girlfriend have criminal histories or reported domestic violence incidents.
After his girlfriend filed for a restraining order in March, Conyers responded in court documents, saying she has “a history of mental illness and has made previous false allegations.” A judge granted the restraining order, which remains in effect until March 2018.
Conyers told The New York Times in a story published Wednesday evening that the woman cut herself during the struggle and he was “regretful for any part I played in escalating the altercation.”
“The entire incident was a result of an accident. He had confronted her that she was cheating on him and she got violent,” Jerome Bradford, the attorney who represented Conyers in the criminal case, told the Associated Press.
“I believe what happened that night was a result of Mr. Conyers breaking up with her after he discovered she was being untrue,” Bradford said. “I believe that that’s what it is all about — a scorned woman.”
Representative Conyers, D-Mich., announced his retirement from Congress on Tuesday in the wake of multiple sexual harassment accusations and endorsed Conyers III to succeed him.
“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” the lawmaker told a local radio show. “This, too, shall pass. My legacy will continue through my children.”
John Conyers III is a partner for a Detroit-based, minority-run hedge fund.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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