Avs' Varlamov beats domestic violence rap, accuser ordered to pay
DENVER — A jury on Tuesday sided with Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov in a lawsuit filed against him by a former girlfriend who claimed he beat her during an argument in 2013.
Jurors awarded Varlamov $126,608 in damages on an abuse of process claim after his attorneys argued the woman was trying to get a payout from the goalie and the evidence did not support her claims of a brutal attack.
The woman sued Varlamov, claiming he knocked her down and stomped on her at their apartment following a Halloween party with the team. Avalanche coach Patrick Roy testified Thursday that Varlamov told him the woman began punching him, so he locked himself in a bedroom and didn't retaliate.
Roy said Varlamov had marks on his upper body, chest and neck.
Prosecutors dropped criminal charges against Varlamov, citing a lack of evidence.
"It's over," Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said of the case Tuesday night. "He's relieved and excited to play hockey again."
The woman's lawsuit sought unspecified damages for loss of income, injuries and humiliation.
Her attorney, Olaf Muller, said he plans to appeal the verdict and many of the court rulings leading up to it.
"We believe that this trial result would have been completely different had the court not issued a series of rulings, big and small, that completely hamstrung our ability to effectively present our case," he wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday night. "Perhaps most significantly, the court ordered us not to present any evidence whatsoever relating to prior instances of domestic violence and abuse by Mr. Varlamov."
Meanwhile, Varlamov's attorneys released a statement saying the woman's claims were "groundless and completely unsupported."
"Mr. Varlamov looks forward to returning to the ice with his team," they said.
The goalie was scratched from Tuesday night's game against Chicago.