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Seattle CEO Dan Price pleads not guilty to misdemeanor assault, reckless driving charges

Price was charged after a woman alleged he attempted to forcibly kiss her and grabbed her throat.

SEATTLE — Dan Price, a Seattle CEO known for cutting his salary and raising his employees' pay, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault and reckless driving after a woman reported he attempted to forcefully kiss her earlier this year.

Additionally, a harassment no-contact order was issued. 

His bond was exonerated under conditions of release.

According to the police report, a 26-year-old woman met with Price in January after they exchanged messages on Instagram. The woman told police she met with Price after he told her he wanted to talk about "professional matters" in person.

The woman allegedly met with Price at a restaurant downtown on the night of Jan. 20. The woman told police Price got "very drunk" at the restaurant, according to documents.

The woman attempted to order an Uber, and Price suggested waiting in his Tesla until it arrived. Once inside his car, Price allegedly attempted to force a kiss on the woman and grabbed her throat when she pushed him away. Documents say the woman told police he became "incredibly angry," and his demeanor completely changed.

According to documents, Price then drove the woman to a North Seattle parking lot and did "donuts" with his car before attempting to kiss her again.

The documents say the woman's boyfriend was eventually able to make contact with her and drove her away.

Price allegedly texted the woman the next day, “Thanks for meeting me last night."

Price's attorney, Mark Middaugh, called the allegations "absolutely false" after Price was initially charged, adding they have evidence that contradicts details of the police report and raises "serious doubts about the complainant's credibility."

Following Price's not guilty plea, Middaugh said, "Dan looks forward to his day in court."

Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments, a credit card processing service, gained national recognition in 2015 when he publicly announced he would raise all of his employees' salaries to $70,000 while cutting his own.

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