SAN JOSE, Calif. – Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has spoken out for the first time since his arrest.
In a statement issued just hours before his plea hearing Tuesday, Velasquez thanked his supporters as he shed some light on his situation, calling it “complex and slowly unraveling” and predicting “justice will be served.” Additionally, Velasquez encouraged “the true victims of this case” to come forward and speak the truth.
“To everyone that has expressed your support, my family and I will never be able to thank you enough,” Velasquez wrote. “From the bottom of our hearts and the depths of our souls, we are grateful for your love. Your selfless gestures and kind words have given me strength in my darkest times. This story is complex and slowly unraveling as we speak. To the true victims of this case, may God give you the strength to come forward. Though it is most difficult to relive the pain that has happened to you, in speaking the truth, justice will be served and your own true healing can start. I will never stop helping or loving my community and all of you. Thank you for loving me.”
Velasquez, 39, was arrested Feb. 28 and charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting a man while targeting another man, 43-year-old Harry Goularte, accused of molesting a family member who is also a minor. Velasquez allegedly pursued their truck and rammed his own truck into the side of theirs before firing several shots, one of which struck Goularte’s stepfather in the arm.
Velasquez was later charged with attempted murder and several other counts, which could result in 20 years to life in prison. He was denied bail at his initial hearing March 7 by Judge Shelyna Brown, who called Velasquez’s actions “reckless.”
Goularte is expected to have his plea hearing for a charge of “a lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14” at the same courthouse Wednesday. Goularte has been out on bail since shortly after his arrest.