Former L.A. Kings player Slava Voynov’s domestic violence plea expunged
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Monday granted former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov’s request to have his misdemeanor domestic violence plea expunged.
Voynov pleaded no contest in July 2015 to one count of corporal injury to a spouse stemming from an October 2014 fight with his wife that led to his suspension by the National Hockey League. Superior Court Judge Eric C. Taylor, who granted the request, originally sentenced Voynov to 90 days in jail, a yearlong domestic violence course, eight hours of community service and three years of probation.
After being released from jail in Seal Beach, Voynov was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and later announced his plans to leave the United States voluntarily. He had been in the country on a temporary visa for athletes.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office opposed Voynov’s motion for dismissal, saying there was insufficient proof that the hockey player had complied with strict conditions of probation that included not buying or drinking alcohol and not threatening or inflicting violence on his wife.
“It is impossible to determine whether all of those conditions were met because the defendant voluntarily left for Russia” on Sept. 18, 2015, the D.A.’s office argued, highlighting concerns about whether the counseling the couple received met the standards set by the court.
Voynov’s wife, Marta Varlamova, allegedly told police the hockey player had punched her during a fight at a Halloween party on Oct. 19, 2014. When they returned home later that night, he threw her to the ground, kicked her, choked her and shoved her into a flat-screen television, the woman said initially. Varlamova later said that what happened was an accident and she declined to testify at trial.
ESPN reported it is possible that the expungement could clear the way for Voynov’s return to the NHL. Voynov has expressed interest in coming back and met with league commissioner Gary Bettman this spring to begin outlining the process, according to ESPN.
Kings general manager Rob Blake was recently asked if he would consider bringing Voynov back to the team. Blake chose his words carefully.
“That’s, I think, a little premature,” he said before the June 22-23 NHL draft. “I think what we’re reading in the papers and the steps that he has taken with the league and the appropriate action after that – right now he’s a suspended player, and until anything changes there, I don’t think we’re in a position to comment any further. A lot of this has to take place between him, his agent and the National Hockey League.”
Voynov was under a six-year, $25 million contract at the time his conviction. That contract was terminated by the Kings.
Staff writer Robert Morales contributed to this story.