Con­tra­dicts for­mer girl­friend

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Katy Canada Katy Canada: 303- 954- 1043, kcanada@ den­ver­post. com or @ KatySu­sanna

Avalanche goalie Se­myon Var­lamov tes­ti­fied Fri­day that he re­strained his long­time girl­friend when she at­tacked him in his apart­ment in late Oc­to­ber 2013, but he never meant to hurt her.

His tes­ti­mony con­tra­dicted what his for­mer girl­friend, Vavrinyuk, said days ear­lier in a civil trial in Den­ver District Court. She said Var­lamov kicked her, beat her and dragged her by the hair early Oct. 29, 2013, the morn­ing af­ter a Hal­loween party.

Var­lamov took the stand on the fifth day of the trial.

“I was scared be­cause I could see she wanted to fight with me,” he tes­ti­fied. “I was not afraid of her, but I was afraid she wanted to fight.”

Vavrinyuk filed a law­suit against Var­lamov in 2014, claim­ing he had beaten her for years be­fore he was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of felony kid­nap­ping and as­sault. Pros­e­cu­tors de­clined to file the kid­nap­ping charge and later dropped amis­de­meanor as­sault charge against Var­lamov.

Var­lamov’s at­tor­ney called him to the stand Fri­day. Through an in­ter­preter, Var­lamov de­scribed that night at the Hal­loween party.

He said Vavrinyuk com­plained he didn’t pay her enough at­ten­tion. She also ac­cused him of in­fi­delity.

Var­lamov said her ac­cu­sa­tions did not fuel an ar­gu­ment, but she con­tin­ued yelling at him through­out the night.

“I tried to calm her down, but she was wav­ing her hands,” Var­lamov said Fri­day. “I re­ally couldn’t lis­ten any­more. I stood up and went to the men’s room. She ran af­ter me.”

Var­lamov in­structed Vavrinyuk to leave the party and re­turn to his apart­ment, where he met her around 5: 50 a. m. That’s when Vavrinyuk ap­proached him in the en­trance of his apart­ment and at­tacked him, he said.

Con­tin­u­ing his tes­ti­mony, Var­lamov said she struck him in the face twice and con­tin­ued ac­cus­ing him of in­fi­delity. He then grabbed her arms to re­strain her and led her into the bed­room, where he “laid her on the bed.”

The al­ter­ca­tion con­tin­ued mo­ments later, he said, when Vavrinyuk chased Var­lamov around the kitchen and threw two glasses at his head.

Var­lamov said he at­tempted to lock him­self in an­other bed­room, but she stuck her leg in the door be­fore he had the chance. He noted that when Vavrinyuk fi­nally calmed down, he locked the bed­room door and didn’t leave un­til the next morn­ing.

At­tor­neys played sur­veil­lance footage of Var­lamov en­ter­ing his apart­ment build­ing so that he could iden­tify him­self in his Hal­loween cos­tume. He­was dressed as Duff­man, the beer- com­pany mas­cot from the an­i­mated TV se­ries “The Simp­sons.”

Dur­ing cross- ex­am­i­na­tion, at­tor­neys sub­mit­ted pho­to­graphs of Vavrinyuk’s in­juries — some bruis­ing on her arms, leg and chest. But Var­lamov said he didn’t know where the bruises came from.

He did say the bruised ar­eas on her arms were con­sis­tent with where he re­strained her, and the mark­ings on her leg matched with where he pushed the door against her dur­ing the fight.

The jury will hear the re­main­ing ev­i­dence and clos­ing state­ments Mon­day morn­ing. A ver­dict is ex­pected to be reached by Tues­day.

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