Former Gavin Newsom aide pleads not guilty to domestic abuse

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A high-profile Democratic strategist and former spokesman for Gavin Newsom pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he assaulted his wife and smothered his four-year-old daughter with a pillow.

Nathan Ballard, 51, appeared virtually in a Napa County court before a judge to face charges of one count of domestic abuse, and one count of child abuse, FOX 2 reported. 

Nathan Ballard runs a public relations firm in San Francisco.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Ballard’s estranged wife alleges that he pushed her into a glass door, at the Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif., on Oct. 17.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, Ballard’s wife "sustained a bump on the back of her head and later experienced dizziness." He then allegedly followed her into the bedroom where their daughter was sleeping, placed a pillow over her head and upper body, and laid on her for about 30 seconds, his wife alleged in an emergency restraining order.

Ballard’s wife told investigators she was assaulted after he consumed a large amount of alcohol and marijuana. She added that he a "mental illness." He was arrested on Oct. 20.

Ballard has denied all of the charges, including allegations that he violated a stay-away order last weekend. Ballard’s attorney told Fox News there is "no evidence" to support the stay-away order violation.

Ballard runs a public relations firm in San Francisco. His high-profile clients include the Democratic National Committee and the California Democratic Party. Ballard was also the communications director for Gavin Newsom when he was San Francisco mayor.

Ballard is due back in court on March 10.

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