Cain Velasquez pleaded not guilty in his attempted murder case on Friday in Santa Clara, California. The former UFC heavyweight champion is being charged with attempted murder and 10 other gun-related charges.
Mark Geragos, Velasquez's attorney, confirmed the news to ESPN. Velasquez allegedly fired gunshots into a vehicle containing Harry Goularte, his mother Patricia and his stepfather Paul Bender. and targeted Goularte, who is being charged with molesting a young relative of Velasquez. The mixed martial artist allegedly then struck Bender with the gunfire.
The prosecution will not call Goularte to testify at a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 26, according to Geragos. The lawyer argued it is imperative to have Goularte in court since he is the alleged victim of the attempted murder charge. A motion hearing on Aug. 29 will discuss the value of having Goularte as a witness. If convicted on all counts, Velasquez could face a maximum sentence of 20 years to life in prison.
"They're trying to desperately run away from the fact that the system failed Cain," Geragos said. "They don't want to get into that. They want to try a case that's divorced from reality."
Velasquez's relative told police that Goularte took them to the bathroom of a daycare center and touched their genitals, according to a court document obtained by ESPN. Goularte allegedly told the child to not tell anyone. The situation may have occurred "100 times." The child allegedly witnessed Goularte enter the bathroom with other children as well.
Goularte was released on Feb. 25 from custody without bail. He was arrested on a charge of lewd or lascivious act upon a child under the age of 14. Goularte pleaded guilty to his criminal charge in June and is scheduled for another court date on Sept. 20. The daycare center is owned by Goularte's mother, Patricia. Velasquez's family has filed a negligence and sexual battery lawsuit against Goularte, Patricia and Bender.