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03rd Mar 2022

UFC champion charged with attempting to murder man accused of molesting relative

Steve Hopkins

Cain Velasquez faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted

Former UFC champion Cain Velasquez has been charged with attempted premeditated murder after allegedly shooting at a man accused of molesting one of his relatives.

The 39-year-old, a former two-time UFC champion regarded as one of the best heavyweight fighters of all time, also faces multiple gun charges in relation to an incident in San Jose, California, according to a Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office news release.

Velasquez, who was arrested Monday and formally charged Wednesday, is accused of targeting Harry Eugene Goularte, who has been charged with allegedly molesting one of Velasquez’s young relatives.

Velasquez, who retired from MMA in 2019, is said to have followed Goularte’s truck in his own vehicle during an “11-mile, high-speed chase”, rammed the truck, and then fired a 40-caliber handgun multiple times into the vehicle, which carried Goularte and two older relatives, including his 63-year-old stepfather, Paul Bender.

Bender was struck once in his arm and torso but is expected to survive, court documents said, according to a report by ESPN.

Goularte, who was not injured in the incident, has been accused of lewd or lascivious act upon a child under age 14 and was released from custody without bail last month under orders to stay in home detention, remain 100 yards away from any child under 14 and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Velasquez is said to have fled the scene after the shooting before being caught by police during a traffic stop following the incident.

He now faces charges of attempted murder; shooting at an occupied motor vehicle or aircraft; three counts of assault with a firearm; three counts of assault with a deadly weapon; willfully discharging a firearm from a vehicle; and carrying a loaded firearm with intent to commit a felony. ESPN noted Velasquez, who is currently being held without bail at the Santa Clara County Jail North, could face 20 years jail if convicted.

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