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Pro hockey players see domestic violence charges dropped

A charge of domestic violence can be life-altering. It can damage one's reputation, affect personal relationships with family and friends, and limit a parent's time with his or her children. Restraining orders and orders of protection are almost always granted in domestic violence cases. These court orders make it illegal for someone charged with domestic violence to have any contact with the victim in the case, which usually means that the defendant must find another place to live.

Domestic violence occurs across all walks of life, and both men and women can be victims. Our Colorado readers are likely aware of this case out of Denver, where a member of the Colorado Avalanche, a National Hockey League team, was recently charged with domestic violence against his girlfriend. That charge, third-degree assault - a misdemeanor - has been dropped by the district attorney's office.

The DA's office in Denver said that there is not enough evidence to prove the domestic violence charges against Semyon Varlamov, 25. a goalie on the Avalanche who hails from Russia. His girlfriend, who is also from Russia, called police last month after an altercation in their Denver condo. According to police reports, the woman was kicked and stomped on, as well as being dragged by her hair. She allegedly told police it was Varlamov who assaulted her. He was arrested and posted $5,000 bail. The goalie's agent said that he "is completely innocent of all of these charges."

Police said that the girlfriend was fearful that the hockey player would hurt her because he had been drinking. She told a friend he said "he would have beat her more" had they still been in their native Russia.

Domestic violence cases are wrought with emotion. In many cases, the victims will not testify or they withdraw the charges. It is up to the DA to determine whether or not to press charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help those charged with domestic violence by protecting their rights throughout the court process while building a strong, solid defense.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Denver prosecutors drop domestic violence charges against NHL goalie" Keith Coffman, Dec. 20, 2013

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