KIRKLAND Wash. (Reuters) - The domestic violence trial of U.S. women’s soccer star Hope Solo was delayed on Tuesday after a judge in Washington state ruled that her attorney had not had adequate interview access to the two family members she is accused of assaulting.
Solo, a goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s soccer team, has pleaded not guilty to striking the family members - her sister and nephew - during a June dispute at her home in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland.
Her trial, scheduled to begin this month, was continued until Jan. 20 after a judge found that her attorney should be allowed to interview the family members with a court stenographer present. Solo’s sister and nephew had refused to be questioned if a court stenographer was there.
Prosecutors maintained the “highly emotional” nature of the case necessitated some limits on how the interviews were recorded.
Solo, 33, said nothing during the brief hearing. She was accompanied in court by her husband, Jerramy Stevens, who played nine seasons for the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Solo has been able to continue playing on the U.S. women’s national soccer team and with her professional Seattle team, Reign FC, while the legal proceedings continue.
Both organizations have defended their decisions not to bench Solo, even as prominent players with the NFL have been suspended amid domestic violence allegations.
Solo’s attorney, Todd Maybrown, says Solo was the victim in the June altercation and that she was hit over the head with a broom handle by a family member.
Police said that during incident Solo appeared to be upset and intoxicated, while her adult sister and her 17-year-old nephew had visible injuries.
Officers present when Solo was booked into jail have been subpoenaed to testify at her trial on two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence, gross misdemeanors.
She faces up to six months in jail if convicted.
Solo has appeared as a contestant on ABC television’s popular “Dancing with the Stars” and has played on two women’s soccer teams that won Olympic gold medals.
Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Steve Orlofsky