Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was taken into custody by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Thursday.
Voynov was grabbed immediately after being released from a local jail, where he had served a 90-day sentence for domestic violence. The 25-year-old Russian will remain in ICE custody until he goes before an immigration judge.
Voynov pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury to a spouse in July. The plea could have an impact on his immigration status.
“A no contest plea, especially if the defendant admits damaging facts, can effectively be treated by immigration officials as a guilty plea,” SI.com legal analyst Michael McCann told the Times after Voynov’s plea. “It could be a complicated road ahead.”
Voynov was arrested in October and suspended immediately by the Kings. He was arraigned in December on a felony domestic violence charge and pleaded not guilty. He was accused of kicking and choking his wife during an incident at their home in October.
A police report obtained by the Times in February stated “Voynov pushed her to the ground approximately six to seven times with both hands, telling her that he wanted a divorce and to ‘get out.’” Voynov's wife, Marta Varlamova, received eight stitches to close a cut over her eye, according to the report.
Voynov, 25, played all 82 games for the Kings during the 2013–14 season, after which he signed a six-year, $25 million contract.
Should Voynov be forced to return to Russia, the coach of the KHL team that owns his rights said he would be a welcome addition.
- Dan Gartland