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Assault charges against Varlamov dropped

Dec 20, 2013, 3:56 PM EDT

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Assault charges against Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov were dropped on Friday by a Denver judge, at the request of prosecutors who said they couldn’t prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“That’s not to say we don’t believe our victim,” district attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said, per the Denver Post. “It became clear we didn’t have a belief we could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Kimbrough noted that, upon re-interviewing witnesses, interviewers noticed some statements had shifted.

Varlamov, 25, was charged with third-degree assault after originally being arrested for second-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault on Oct. 30, following allegations of domestic abuse from his girlfriend.

The more serious kidnapping charge (a Class 4 Felony) was dropped as the DA didn’t feel it could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Varlamov last appeared in court on Dec. 2 for an “advisement hearing” and never entered a plea to the assault charges. He was expected to do so on Jan. 22.

The Russian netminder hasn’t let his off-ice issues affect his play. He has a 16-8-1 record with a 2.37 GAA and .924 save percentage this year and has won three of his last four starts, including Thursday’s 4-2 win over Edmonton in which he stopped 27 of 29 shots faced.

Varlamov is expected to challenge — and, at this point, is likely the leading candidate — for Russia’s starting goalie gig at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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