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HOME > America's Next Top Model > America's Next Top Model 1

Charges dropped in ex-'Model' Elyse Sewell's domestic violence case


By Christopher Rocchio, 01/09/2008 

While Elyse Sewell and her now ex-boyfriend Martin Crandall were both arrested following an alleged physical altercation the two had last week, the former America's Next Top Model first-season contestant is reportedly free to walk the runway or wherever else she may choose.

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The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office decided to drop domestic-violence charges against Sewell and Crandall on Tuesday, MTV News reported.

Paul Durenberger, the District Attorney's Office domestic-violence unit supervisor, told MTV News that during Sewell's Tuesday arraignment a judge said the case against her had been rejected because there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges.

Durenberger added Crandall, a musician in the Shins, was still expected to be arraigned Wednesday as a "procedural matter," at which point the charges against him will also be dropped.

"Basically it means there was not enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and no way to prove a crime against either one of the people involved," Durenberger explained to MTV News. "We looked at the police reports and there was no way to make a determination of a crime."

Sewell -- who was Top Model's original third-place finisher -- posted Saturday on her personal LiveJournal blog that during a drive home from Albuquerque to Portland with Crandall, her boyfriend of seven years, he "got shitfaced and roughed me up in a Sacramento hotel."

"I escaped from the room through a blitzkrieg of violence and talked to hotel security, who called the fuzz," Sewell posted.  "Because he had a bite mark, inflicted in self-defense, on his arm, Marty told the police to PRESS CHARGES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST ME."

Sewell wrote she "spent the night in jail" and posted a photo of what she alleged to be bruises on her arm that she received from the altercation with Crandall, who was also charged with domestic violence.  Sewell was released Saturday, Crandall on Sunday. 

Prior to her Tuesday arraignment, Sewell posted another entry on LiveJournal.

"Soon I will find out whether I will be prosecuted or the District Attorney will drop the felony charges," the 25-year-old wrote.  "Ugh, how distasteful that I even have to think about those boring legal words. Out with 'own recognizance.' In with 'puissance.' Out with 'remand.' In with 'undine.'  Do not prosecute!  Pray for mojo."

She subsequently updated her post following the arraignment and expressed no ill will towards Crandall, although she reiterated the two are no longer romantically involved due to the alleged incident.

"The D.A. has rejected the case against me. I am free," she wrote.  "I wish the same outcome for Marty and have no intention of pursuing any further legal action. I would not wish entanglement in the widening gyre of the American legal system upon my worst enemy... Expect few updates to this journal in the next couple of weeks as I will be untangling the web of seven years of cohabitation with my ex-boyfriend, packing up my shit, and thickening up a plot to travel and work in more temperate climes."

In addition, Sewell also learned a lesson about posting such personal information online -- seeming to regret her decision to post her now-deleted Saturday LiveJournal entry about the alleged altercation.

"It was incredibly naive of me not to realize that my blog entry about this incident would become tabloid fodder. That was not my intention," she wrote.  "I consider the small circle of people who frequent this LJ to be a support group; the much larger world of tabloid readers is certainly not. I will never speak of this again, nor malign Marty in this space. And tomorrow this'll be fishwrap."

(Photo credit UPN)


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