September 4, 2014 / 12:52 AM / 5 years ago

Pro-fighter War Machine held in Las Vegas on 32 criminal charges

Jonathan Koppenhaver is shown in this booking photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitian Police Department in Las Vegas, Nevada, September 2, 2014. REUTERS/Las Vegas Metropolitian Police Dept/Handout via Reuters

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Mixed martial arts fighter War Machine, accused of assaulting his porn actress ex-girlfriend and a man at her home last month, made his initial Las Vegas court appearance on Wednesday to face 32 criminal charges, including attempted murder.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship contender, who was born Jonathan Koppenhaver but claims to have legally changed his name to War Machine, was ordered to remain held without bond until his next court date, which was set for Oct. 17.

He did not enter a plea during the brief proceeding in Clark County Justice Court, according to Tess Driver, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

The 32-year-old defendant was arrested near Los Angeles in mid-August and extradited to Nevada after his former girlfriend, an adult film performer known as Christy Mack, accused him of savagely beating her and a man she was dating at the time, identified in court records as Corey Thomas.

Mack said on Twitter that she had suffered 18 broken facial bones, including her nose, a broken rib and a ruptured liver, and posted photos of her injuries on social media. She said Koppenhaver had beaten her “many times before, but never this badly.”

The fighter himself responded to the allegations on social media prior to his arrest, saying on Twitter: “The cops will never give me fair play, never believe me. Still deciding what to do but at the end of the day it’s just heart breaking.”

The police report and criminal complaint in the case say Mack, 23, was alternately punched and choked for about two hours. She finally escaped when was left alone in a bedroom and heard her attacker rummaging a kitchen drawer for a knife. Police say Thomas got away after he was beaten, placed in a choke hold and bitten in the face during the initial attack.

Koppenhaver’s criminal charges include kidnapping, sexual assault, two counts of attempted murder and numerous counts of battery. Driver said some of the offenses carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Bernard Orr

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