Seattle - US women's soccer star Hope Solo pleaded not guilty on Monday to domestic violence charges stemming from a weekend altercation with her sister and a nephew and was ordered released from jail on her own recognisance.
Solo, 32, was arrested shortly after midnight on Saturday by police officers who responded to an emergency 911 call at her house in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland and heard a disturbance from the street, police said.
Entering a not guilty plea on her behalf in Kirkland Municipal Court, defence lawyer Todd Maybrown said Solo was the actual victim in the incident. “She was hit over the head with a broom handle,” Maybrown told the judge.
The judge ruled there was probable cause for the case to proceed. He ordered Solo, a goalkeeper for the US women's soccer team, released from custody but granted prosecution motions seeking court orders barring her from drinking alcohol or having any contact with her sister or nephew while the case was pending.
Solo, who is charged with two counts of domestic violence in the fourth degree, said little during the proceedings except to state her name for the record.
Police said that during the incident she appeared to be upset and intoxicated, while her adult sister and her 17-year-old nephew had visible injuries. Solo was hosting a party at her home when the dispute took place, the Seattle Times reported.
Her husband, Jerramy Stevens, who played nine seasons for the National Football League as a member of the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, attended the hearing, and the couple stared at one another silently from across the courtroom.
Representatives from US Soccer and Solo's professional Seattle team, Reign FC, said they were aware of Solo's arrest but declined to comment further over the weekend. Stevens declined to speak with the media afterward.
Stevens was himself arrested on suspicion of domestic violence against Solo hours before their wedding in November 2012, but he was released because of insufficient evidence, and charges were never brought, according to media reports.
Solo has appeared as a contestant on ABC television's popular Dancing With The Stars and has played on two women's soccer teams that won Olympic gold medals. - Reuters