By CAITLIN MURRAY
The legal saga surrounding Hope Solo’s alleged assault last summer is over and her case has been dropped.
Citing a lack of cooperation from the alleged victims, Judge Michael Lambo ruled Tuesday to dismiss both of the misdemeanor assault charges Solo faced, according to Seattle-area reports. The refusal of the alleged victims to comply with the legal process left Solo unable to defend herself, Lambo said.
Solo, 33, had been charged with two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault for allegedly attacking her 17-year-old nephew and his mother, her half sister, in June. But the alleged victims were uncooperative, failing to go through court-ordered depositions and changing their stories, according to Solo’s attorney, Todd Maybrown.
Solo’s criminal trial was slated to start next week. Solo, who is training with the USWNT in California with permission from the judge, was not present at Tuesday’s hearing.
“Today’s decision brings closure to what has been one of the most difficult and emotionally draining times of my life,” Solo said in a statement posted on Facebook. “I always had faith that once the facts of the case were presented, I would be cleared of all charges and I am so happy and relieved to finally have it all behind me.”
With the ruling, it appears there will be no doubt as to the star goalkeeper’s standing with the U.S. Women’s National Team. The team will compete in the World Cup in June.
U.S. Soccer had come under fire for not punishing her and even going as far as to tout her record-breaking 73rd shutout match in September. But the federation stood their ground, vowing to let the legal process play out before making decisions to reprimand Solo.
Solo’s club, Seattle Reign FC, had benched her for one match after the incident for skipping a road game, but said any consequences over the criminal charges would come once the legal process was over.
Solo, for her part, has maintained her innocence throughout and expressed confidence the charges against her would be dismissed. Speaking to SBI in September, she lamented false assumptions being made in the press as she focused on preparing for the World Cup.
Court documents alleged the incident occurred June 20 when Solo was visiting her sister’s Kirkland, Washington home. The victims alleged that Solo punched her nephew in the face and attacked his mother when she tried to intervene. Solo’s nephew allegedly broke a wooden broom over her head and pointed a broken BB gun at her.
The USWNT is in a training camp until Jan. 25. After that, the USWNT will open 2015 with a pair of overseas matches Feb. 8 against France and Feb. 13 against England.