- Associated Press - Friday, February 17, 2012

CINCINNATI (AP) - Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga (mow-uh-LOO’-guy) has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.

The three-year veteran’s attorney filed a written plea Friday in Hamilton County Municipal Court.

An employee at a downtown Cincinnati bar told police that Maualuga punched him in the face on Feb. 5. Maualuga and the Bengals have not commented on the charge, which could bring a fine or suspension from the NFL.

It’s Maualuga’s second court case in two years. He pleaded guilty to drunken driving after police in northern Kentucky said he hit a parking meter and two parked cars in January 2010. The league suspended him for two games for violating its conduct policy.

As a repeat offender, he could be suspended by the NFL for part of next season.