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Avs' Varlamov arrested

Goalie accused of assaulting girlfriend; charges pending

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Evgeniya Vavrinyuk speaks to reporters through an interpreter about her boyfriend.

PHOTOS BY RJ SANGOSTI / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge Image

Evgeniya Vavrinyuk speaks to reporters through an interpreter about her boyfriend.

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov will be able to travel with the team while prosecutors consider whether he should be charged with assaulting his girlfriend.

On Thursday, a judge said Varlamov could be released if he posted a $5,000 bond and be allowed to travel with the team but he was ordered to stay away from his girlfriend, among other restrictions.

The girlfriend, Evgeniya Vavrinyuk, told investigators Varlamov kicked her in the chest, knocking her down, and stomped on her chest as she lay on the ground in her apartment on Monday, according to an arrest affidavit. She also accused Varlamov of dragging her by her hair and telling her he would have beaten her more if they had been in Russia.

Varlamov appeared in court briefly Thursday. He spent the night in jail after turning himself in on Wednesday. He stood next to his lawyer to face Denver County Judge Claudia Jordan, who also told him, through a Russian interpreter, he couldn't drink or possess firearms. He also had to sign a waiver that he would be immediately sent back to Colorado if he fled.

The 25-year-old was arrested on suspicion of second-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault.

Robert Abrams, the attorney for Vavrinyuk, said the couple had been dating for a year and that Varlamov assaulted her on four other occasions.

Abrams said this one wasn't the most serious -- and followed hours of drinking by Varlamov -- but his client decided to tell police this time because after the assault she went home and found all her things had been thrown into the hallway and her bank account had been cut off by Varlamov.

Abrams said he asked Vavrinyuk to wait a day to think about whether she wanted to go to the police. She did and went to the police on Wednesday morning. Afterward, she went to the hospital, where she was examined and released.

"She wants the world to know that this famous star is a mean, nasty and hostile individual," Abrams said.

Varlamov's agent, Paul Theofanous, said he "is completely innocent of all of these charges."

Varlamov's attorney, Jack Rotole, declined to comment on the case, saying he would defend his client in court.

Vavrinyuk said in an interview through an interpreter with The Denver Post she had cancelled a modelling contract in Hong Kong to be with Varlamov in Denver "because he asked her to."

"He has no concept of when to stop drinking, and when he drinks he turns into an animal," Vavrinyuk said through the interpreter.

Rotole told the judge the team is standing behind Varlamov.

"He has the full and total support of the Colorado Avalanche," he said.

The Avalanche said in a statement they were aware of the allegations but wouldn't comment further until the conclusion of the investigation. Varlamov's teammates took to the ice for practice on Thursday about the time he appeared in court.

"It's an unfortunate situation and hopefully it gets resolved real soon, but we'll focus on hockey right now," forward Matt Duchene said. "That's what we're worried about."

Varlamov was scheduled to start in goal tonight in Dallas against the Stars. Roy wouldn't commit to whether that's still the plan. Varlamov will make the trip to Dallas with the team.

"We're going to take it one day at a time, like we've been doing all year long," Roy said.

Acquired from Washington in a 2011 trade, Varlamov is 7-1 this season with a 1.76 goals-against average.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 1, 2013 C2

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