Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez pleaded not guilty Friday in an attempted murder case in Santa Clara County, California, his attorney Mark Geragos told ESPN.
Velasquez, 40, is being charged with attempted murder and 10 other weapons-related charges stemming from an incident in which he allegedly chased a man, Harry Goularte, who is accused of sexually abusing a young relative of Velasquez, and shot him with a weapon. in Goularte’s vehicle, hitting Goularte’s stepfather, Paul Bender. Velasquez has been in jail since February 28 and has been denied bail on three separate occasions.
A pre-trial hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 26, where Geragos hopes to get witnesses to testify, the attorney said. If the case is not dismissed by then, he said, then he would go to trial, which could start before the end of the year.
Geragos said the prosecution will not call Goularte to testify at the pre-trial hearing or trial, calling it “nonsense.” There will be a motion hearing on August 29 to discuss whether Goularte’s non-witness is fair to Velasquez. Geragos said the only charge Velasquez faces that could give him a life sentence is attempted murder, and Goularte is the alleged victim of that charge.
Goularte was released from custody Feb. 25 without bond after being arrested on one count of lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14.
“They are desperately trying to run away from the fact that the system failed Cain,” Geragos said. “They don’t want to get into it. They want to try a case that is divorced from reality.”
Geragos added that he finds it a conflict that the same office is judging both Velásquez and Goularte in their respective cases, saying he is serving “two masters.”
Velasquez followed Goularte’s truck in his own vehicle on an “11-mile high-speed chase” through the city of San Jose, ramming the truck and firing a 40-caliber pistol multiple times at the truck, which was carrying Goularte. Bender and Goularte. mother, Patricia, according to the prosecutor’s office. Bender was struck by a bullet, although he sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Velasquez’s relative, who is less than 10 years old, told police on Feb. 24 that Goularte took them into a daycare bathroom and touched their genitals, according to a court document. The boy said that Goularte told him not to tell anyone what happened and that this situation could have happened “100 times.” The boy told police that Goularte was also seen entering the bathroom with other children.
The nursery is owned by Goularte’s mother. She and Goularte have denied any wrongdoing. Velasquez’s family also filed a sexual assault and neglect lawsuit against Goularte, Patricia and Bender.
Goularte pleaded guilty to her criminal charge in June and is scheduled for another court hearing on September 20.