Jerramy Stevens says Hope Solo a victim of ‘witch hunt’

Jerramy Stevens reportedly decried the recent scrutiny surrounding Hope Solo as a "witch hunt" as he launched an impassioned defense of his wife on Saturday.

"It is a witch hunt, you can put that in the paper," Stevens told USA Today.  

Solo has found herself placed in the spotlight for much of this week after a report by "Outside the Lines" last weekend revealed new details about a domestic incident that took place last year.

The report prompted a public admonishment of her conduct and the subsequent investigation launched by U.S. Soccer from Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., on Thursday.

Stevens rejected the recent criticism of Solo in the interview with USA Today on Saturday and reinforced his belief in his wife and her innocence.

"It’s not hard for me because I know Hope can handle it," Stevens told USA Today in Winnipeg. "I think that what’s hard is that she’s the victim of something that was really scary and a really unfortunate incident. (Her) being classified even remotely close to Ray Rice and these other domestic violence incidents is ridiculous and outright wrong. That part is difficult. But Hope is the strongest person that I’ve ever known. She’ll be all right."

Solo has retained her place in the U.S. squad for this World Cup despite the increased clamor over the domestic incident last year and a 30-day suspension she served earlier this year for unauthorized use of a team vehicle during a training camp earlier this year.

The 33-year-old — widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world — started in both the 3-1 victory over Australia on Monday and the 0-0 draw with Sweden on Friday. Her performance in the World Cup opener against Australia included two top-drawer saves in the early stages.

Stevens said he believes the ongoing debate about her place in the team will not affect her performances as the tournament progresses.

"I feel she’ll continue to (play well)," Stevens said. "She doesn’t need to defend herself. She’s in the right. I think that gives her strength because she doesn’t feel like she’s done anything wrong and it’s just unfortunate because they’ve made an issue out of something and there was no new information presented. None whatsoever. All of those (details) were available. (People) put females in a box and want them to stay there and look pretty. Hope refuses to be put in that box. She wants to be treated as an equal. That’s not the case as we can see."