Ex-UFC fighter Cain Velasquez released on bail in attempted-murder case

Cain Velasquez wears a mask in court.
Cain Velasquez listens during a hearing at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice in March. Velasquez was released Wednesday on $1 million bail.
(Aric Crabb / Associated Press)

Former mixed martial arts heavyweight Cain Velasquez, who faces charges of attempted murder in the Bay Area, was released from jail on $1 million bail Wednesday morning.

Velasquez, who has spent 253 days behind bars, is accused of shooting at a pickup truck carrying Harry Goularte, a man accused of sexually assaulting Velasquez’s 4-year-old son. Velasquez was ordered released by a magistrate judge in Santa Clara County on Tuesday. The judge also determined at a preliminary hearing that a trial of Velasquez could move forward.

As conditions of his release, the 40-year-old retired fighter will wear a GPS monitor and is also required to go to outpatient treatment for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that can be caused by a history of concussions.

While Velasquez has not been diagnosed with CTE, his lawyers said that diagnostic tests while he was in custody showed a traumatic brain injury and a possibility of CTE.

“The evidence established that both diagnoses are treatable degenerative brain diseases resulting from a combination of childhood trauma and a history of concussions from UFC fighting. Because of this brain damage, it was revealed that Mr. Velasquez suffers from an impaired ability to control his impulses, for which he needs treatment,” Mark Geragos, Velasquez’s defense attorney, wrote in a bail application.

Velasquez is also required to go to counseling sessions for parents whose children have been the victim of sexual assault.

Velasquez was told in February that his son had been molested by Goularte, according to his attorneys. Goularte’s mother ran a child care facility that Velasquez’s son attended, and Goularte is accused of molesting the child “hundreds of times” there, attorneys for Velasquez said.

Goularte was arrested in February and charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, but was released by a judge two days later.


When Velasquez and his wife saw Goularte on the street the next day, Velasquez was “shocked,” Geragos wrote.

He allegedly rammed his truck into Goularte’s vehicle during a high-speed pursuit through Santa Clara County and shot at the car with a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

Goularte was his target, but Velasquez allegedly hit another man in the car. The condition of the man is unknown.

While in jail, Velasquez filed suit against Goularte over the alleged sexual assault of his son.