Just weeks after being charged with driving under the influence in Auckland, New Zealand, last year, Israel Adesanya, a former two-time middleweight mixed martial arts champion, sought to project humility and remorse.
He immediately pleaded guilty, issued a public apology and declined to seek “name suppression,” where the news media is barred from publishing a defendant’s name, a common practice in New Zealand for the famous or moderately well known facing legal trouble.
These factors, along with what Mr. Adesanya described as the likely and disproportionate negative effects of a criminal conviction on his high-profile career, prompted a judge on Wednesday to dismiss the charges.
Judge Peter Winter of the Auckland District Court instead ordered Mr. Adesanya to donate 1,500 New Zealand dollars, or around $900, to a charity, suspended his driver’s license for six months, and ordered him to enroll in a drunk-driving cessation program by the end of 2024. Mr. Adesanya had previously been charged with, but not convicted of, driving while his license was suspended.
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