'Jersey Shore's Ronnie Ortiz-Magro accepted into intervention program
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/12/2011
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro has been granted the chance to dodge a criminal record.
The Jersey Shore star was accepted into a pretrial intervention program on Monday which will allow him to avoid a potential criminal conviction for assault if he remains out of trouble for 18 months and adheres to the program's conditions and restrictions, The Asbury Pressreported Monday.
Superior Court Judge Stephanie M. Wauters reportedly admitted the 25-year-old reality TV star -- who pleaded not guilty to an assault charge in February for a September 2009 fight which took place during the filming of the MTV reality show's first season -- into the court's program, which allows criminal defendants to either plead innocent or guilty and still face the prospect of having any charges dropped against them.
According to The Press, Judge Wauters also asked Ortiz-Magro, who was not be required to acknowledge his guilt, whether he'd be interested in doing community service -- an invitation he willingly accepted. However, the assigned community service the Jersey Shore star must complete was not specified.
If Ortiz-Magro successfully finishes the program and maintains good behavior, his assault charge will be dismissed.
The reality TV star applied to the pretrial intervention program in March not only to avoid a criminal record, but to also obtain an Italian visa -- which enabled Ortiz-Magro to join his Jersey Shore castmates in Italy to film the show's fourth season this spring.
"Persons who are currently in the criminal process can not by issued a Visa," a spokesperson for the Italian Embassy told RadarOnline in January. "Any person applying for a Visa to Italy must have their case fully adjudicated."
Ortiz-Magro originally faced up to five years in prison for the charge, which he was indicted for in December and is based on an incident in which he allegedly punched a man out in Seaside Heights, NJ outside of a nightclub.
The alleged victim, 27-year-old Stephen Izzo, has filed a civil lawsuit not only against Ortiz-Magro, but also MTV and Jersey Shore's producers.