September 27, 2022

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Cain Velazquez pleaded not guilty to attempted murder Friday in Santa Clara, California. The former UFC heavyweight champion is charged with attempted murder and 10 other weapons-related charges.

Mark Geragos, Velasquez’s attorney, confirmed the news ESPN. Velasquez allegedly shot at a vehicle containing Harry Goularte, his mother Patricia and his stepfather Paul Bender. Velázquez was reportedly pursued and targeted Goularte, who is accused of abusing a young relative of Velasquez. The mixed martial artist allegedly struck Bender with gunfire.

The prosecution will not call Goularte to testify in a preliminary hearing on September 26, according to Gerago. The lawyer argued that it is imperative that Goularte be in court as he is the alleged victim of the attempted murder charge. A hearing on the motion on Aug. 29 will discuss the value of having Goularte as a witness. If convicted of all charges, Velazquez could face a maximum sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

“They are desperately trying to escape the fact that the system failed Cain,” Geragos said. “They don’t want to get into it. They want to try a case that’s divorced from reality.”

Velasquez’s relative told police that Goularte took them to a daycare restroom and touched their genitals, according to a court document obtained by ESPN. Goularte allegedly told the child not to tell anyone. The situation may have happened “100 times”. The child allegedly saw Goularte enter the bathroom with other children as well.

Goularte was released from custody on February 25 without bond. He was arrested on a charge of lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14 years of age. Goularte pleaded guilty to the criminal charge in June and is scheduled for another court appearance on September 20. The daycare is owned by Goularte’s mother, Patricia. Velasquez’s family has filed a negligence and sexual battery lawsuit against Goularte, Patricia and Bender.

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