Tennessee’s Alexis Johnson has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and false imprisonment, according to an Associated Press report. The charges were levied against the defensive tackle and stem from an incident that allegedly occurred on Feb. 14.
Johnson’s lawyer, Gregory Isaacs, said “the reason why is because he is not guilty” after Tuesday’s arraignment, per the AP. Isaacs had previously said Johnson was prepared to fight the charges in a public statement.
The next preliminary hearing for Johnson is scheduled for April 21. The alleged assault occurred after Johnson and a woman were “play fighting,” leading him to allegedly place his hands around the woman’s throat and then prevent her from leaving the room.
Johnson, who remains suspended from the team, enrolled at Tennessee in January from Fort Scott (Kan.) Junior College. The former four-star prospect was considered an important addition for the Vols and was expected to add depth to Tennessee’s defensive line.