Dale Ellis, leading scorer of the Seattle SuperSonics, has pleaded innocent to charges he assaulted his wife, Monique, at their Bellevue home Sunday and then resisted arrest by police.

Ellis, 28, apperared in Bellevue District Court with his lawyer, Steve Hayne of Bellevue, on Monday afternoon.

City Prosecutor Susan Irwin said Ellis has expressed interest in being considered for Bellevue's domestic violence program, which involves up to a year of counseling and probation

If Ellis declines to enter the program, a trial will be scheduled.

The assault charge against Ellis is a gross misdemeanor with a maximun penalty of a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. Resisitng arrest is a misdemeanor, punishabel by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000.

Ellis was arrested at his home in Bellevue Sunday at 8:50 a.m.

Dale and Monique Ellis did not talk to reporters about Ellis' arrest after the court appearance. They issued a statement through the Sonics that said

"We did have a problem between us Sunday, but we honestly were surprised the authorities were called to the scene. To us, the matter has been blown out of proportion, as we understand will happen when you are in the public spotlight.

"As far as we are concerned, there is nothing especially dramatic about the entire situation., We have resolved the matter privately, and that is how we would like to keep it," the statment said.