MILWAUKEE — One of the longest-tenured dancers in the Milwaukee Ballet is facing misdemeanor domestic abuse charges.

Thirty-seven-year-old Davit Hovhannisyan is accused of whipping his ex-wife's face with a bath rug and slapping her.

His lawyer said in court Wednesday that his client is being falsely accused.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Hovhannisyan is a leading artist in the Milwaukee Ballet and a member of the company since 2004. He's danced principal roles in many of the ballet's performances.

A spokeswoman said the Milwaukee Ballet does not comment on personnel issues.