Soccer star Hope Solo pleads not guilty to assault charges
POSTED: Monday, June 23, 2014 - 8:25pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 8, 2014 - 11:33am
CNN — U.S. women's soccer star Hope Solo entered a not-guilty plea in court Monday after police say she assaulted two relatives at a home near Seattle.
Solo, national team goalkeeper and a two-time Olympic gold-medal winner, was released on the conditions she avoid contact with her half-sister and a 17-year-old nephew, and that she not drink alcohol.
A pretrial hearing was set for the morning of August 11.
Solo, dressed in a white shirt and black pants, said little, telling the judge "I do" when asked if she understood the domestic violence assault charges filed against her. She faces two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault.
Police have said Solo, 32, assaulted her relatives early Saturday. Officers responded to a 911 call in which a male reported that a woman would not stop "hitting people" or leave the house, the statement said.
At the home, officers heard a disturbance. Inside, Solo appeared "intoxicated and upset," police said.
Police said Solo's nephew and sister had visible injuries. After interviewing witnesses, police determined that Solo was the "primary aggressor and had instigated the assault," the statement said.
According to a police affidavit, when police arrived, they saw that Solo's nephew's nose and left jawbone area were red, and that his shirt was ripped from the underarm down to the bottom.
The left cheekbone of Solo's half-sister was swollen and turning purple, the document says.
The nephew said that Solo insulted his weight and called him crazy, and an exchange of vulgarities led to Solo charging her nephew and getting in a fight with him, the affidavit states.
When the half-sister walked in, Solo attacked her, according to the document. The nephew took a wooden broom that he "broke over (Solo's) head" in an attempt to stop the assault, the affidavit states.
According to the document, when Solo didn't stop hitting her half-sister, the nephew grabbed a broken BB gun in an attempt to get Solo to leave the house.
She left, but then jumped the fence and re-entered the house, where she attacked her half-sister again, according to the affidavit.
The document says that Solo denied she assaulted anyone. She told police that she called her nephew "fat and unathletic," and he responded by hitting her with a broom. Solo refused to let police examine her for injuries, the document states.
The nephew told police that both women had been drinking wine before the altercation.
Her attorney said she didn't commit a crime.
"Our investigation reveals that Hope was assaulted and injured during this unfortunate incident," Todd Maybrown wrote in an e-mail. "We look forward to the opportunity to present the true facts in court and to having this matter behind Hope very soon."
In court, Maybrown said Solo -- who is married to former NFLer Jerramy Stevens and who was referred to in court as Hope Stevens -- was hit over the head with a broom handle during the incident.
Solo's club team in the National Women's Soccer League, the Seattle Reign, acknowledged the incident over the weekend.
"We are aware of the situation with Hope and are now gathering information," the team tweeted. The Reign have a home match on Saturday.
Just nine days ago she had a shutout for the women's national team against France. It was her 71st match without giving up a goal, tying her with Brianna Scurry for the most clean sheets ever for the United States.
No stranger to controversy
Solo also played on World Cup teams in 2007 and 2011, and appeared on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
A world-class goalkeeper, she is no stranger to controversy.
In 2012, Solo sent out a harsh tweet criticizing Olympic soccer commentator Brandi Chastain for her negative commentary during the 2012 London games.
During the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, Solo openly criticized U.S. women's soccer coach Greg Ryan after she was benched and the U.S. lost its next match by four goals.
In an interview with CNN two years ago, Solo spoke about her public image.
"I have a bad rap," she said. "People look at me as selfish, outspoken. But I know who I am."
A warning and an elimination
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in 2012 publicly warned Solo after she tested positive for a banned diuretic -- a substance she claimed she didn't know was in premenstrual medication prescribed by her physician. The agency accepted Solo's explanation and she competed in the 2012 Olympics.
"I don't expect any of the media to be positive," Solo told CNN in 2012. "But I know that I'm doing wonderful things for the sport of soccer, and I know I'm doing amazing things for female athletes. So I can take it."
Solo was eliminated from "Dancing with the Stars" in 2011 following a run on the show marred by frequent disputes with pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy and the judging panel. Later that year, she appeared nude on one of four covers of ESPN's "The Body Issue."
A native of Richland, Washington, Solo in 2005 became starting goalkeeper for the U.S. national team, tallying seven shutouts in nine matches. In 2009, she was named U.S. Soccer's female athlete of the year.
-- CNN's John Newsome contributed to this report.