NBC sportscaster Marv Albert formally served notice in Arlington, Virginia, Circuit Court today that he'll plead innocent to charges of sodomy and assault.

Albert marched into a hearing in Judge Benjamin Kendrick's courtroom this morning, holding hands with his fiancée, a freelance television producer. But he was silent during the five-minute hearing, leaving the talking to defense attorney Gerard Treanor, a Washington lawyer. Albert had been fingerprinted and had his mug shots taken before the hearing began.

He was indicted May 19 on charges that he repeatedly bit a 41-year-old woman and then forced her to perform oral sex on him in an Arlington hotel room February 12. He could face life in prison if convicted.

Attorney Treanor told the judge the defense needs time to analyze physical evidence and review tests on the evidence before officially entering a plea. Judge Kendrick released Albert on his own recognizance.

Arlington Commonwealth prosecuting Attorney Richard Trodden requested a jury trial, and asked Treanor not to discuss the case. "The proper place to answer these questions is in a courtroom," Trodden said. Judge Kendrick set the trial date for September 22.

NBC is standing behind its lead NBA announcer, at least for now. Albert announced the NBA playoff games as scheduled Saturday and Monday.

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