LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was charged with felony domestic violence for allegedly attacking his wife at their Southern California home last month, prosecutors said on Thursday.
The 24-year-old Russian hockey player faces a single count of corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury stemming from an Oct. 19 altercation at their home in the Los Angeles suburb of Redondo Beach.
Voynov has been suspended indefinitely by the National Hockey League since his arrest on Oct. 20 at a Los Angeles-area hospital where his wife was being treated for injuries.
The Kings, the defending Stanley Cup champions, said in a statement the franchise supported the league’s indefinite suspension of Voynov.
He is accused of causing injuries to his wife’s eyebrow, cheek and neck, the district attorney said. Voynov is scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court on December 1.
If convicted, Voynov faces up to nine years in state prison.
“Mr. Voynov is extremely disappointed that the District Attorney’s office elected to file charges,” Voynov’s lawyer, Craig Renetzky, said in an email. “Mr. Voynov maintains his innocence and looks forward to clearing his name in court.”
The NHL’s deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, said Voynov’s paid suspension would remain in place for the time being.
Voynov’s arrest and suspension come at a time of heightened public awareness and outcry over domestic violence and professional athletes, and how sports leagues respond to such cases.
The National Football League in particular has come under fire for its uneven response to the punishment of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was shown on a video knocking his fiancee unconscious in an elevator.
Reporting by Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Peter Cooney