Hayden Panettiere's ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson has pleaded not guilty to several felony assault charges after his domestic violence arrest.
Hickerson was arrested on an eight-count domestic violence complaint on Thursday, with four felony charges of corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, including two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and a misdemeanour charge of battery on a spouse/cohabitant.
His not guilty plea comes days after the Nashville star reported her ex to the Teton County Sheriff in Wyoming, along with the Santa Monica police and the Los Angeles Police Department, for multiple alleged incidents involving extreme domestic violence against her during their 18-month relationship.
She told TMZ she was speaking publicly about the alleged abuse to "empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve," and "make sure this man never hurts anyone again".
Brian was also arrested last year following an alleged domestic violence incident involving Hayden, but the charges were dropped when she refused to co-operate with prosecutors.
The on-off couple finally called it quits earlier this year after he was arrested for allegedly punching Hayden in the face during an argument on Valentine's Day in Jackson, Wyoming, and she was recently granted court-ordered protection in both Wyoming and California.
Brian has pleaded not guilty to domestic battery and one count of interfering with a peace officer following the February incident. He is set to appear in court for a pre-trial conference in August. A jury trial is scheduled to start the following month.
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