Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez denied bail in attempted murder case

Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez was denied bail Monday in his attempted murder case, per a Santa Clara County (California) court spokesperson.

Judge Shelyna Brown of Santa Clara County Superior Court said the "risk is too great" to let Velasquez out on bail because of the "extreme recklessness" of the retired fighter's actions.

Velasquez's next court date is April 12, per Holly Baird, head of communications for Velasquez's Geragos & Geragos legal team. Velasquez cannot request bail again unless the district attorney adds or drops charges, per Baird.

"It is clear to this court that there is clear and convincing evidence that there is a substantial likelihood that release would result in great bodily injury, not just to the named complaining witnesses in this case but to Santa Clara residents at large," Brown said. "This case involves allegations of extreme recklessness to human life."

Velasquez, 39, was arrested Feb. 28 after allegedly chasing down the man -- Harry Eugene Goularte, who is being charged with molesting a young relative of Velasquez -- and shooting a gun into Goularte's vehicle, per the Santa Clara County district attorney. Another man in the vehicle, Goularte's stepfather, Paul Bender, was hit by one of the gunshots in his arm and torso. Bender suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

"Is there anybody out there who would say to a father that this is not what you should do?" Velasquez's attorney Mark Geragos said outside the courthouse Monday, per KRON 4. "Is there anybody out there who finds it beyond the pale that a father was not consulted when they released the perpetrator back into the public with zero-dollar bail, yet they're holding Cain on no bail? This is why people are disgusted -- and rightfully so -- with the criminal justice system."

Last Wednesday, Velasquez was formally charged with attempted murder and 10 other gun-related charges by Santa Clara County district attorney Jeff Rosen. Velasquez is facing 20 or more years of jail time, if convicted.

Velasquez followed Goularte's truck in his own vehicle on an "11-mile, high-speed chase" through the city of San Jose, rammed the truck and fired a 40-caliber handgun multiple times into the truck, which carried Goularte, Bender and Goularte's mother, Patricia, according to the DA's office.

Goularte, who was not injured in the shooting, is being accused in Santa Clara County of a lewd or lascivious act upon a child under the age of 14.

Goularte, 43, was released from custody Feb. 25 without bail, against the DA's orders, per the DA. He was ordered to stay in home detention, remain 100 yards away from any child under 14 and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

The child, who is under 10 years old, told a Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy Feb. 24 that Goularte took him into the bathroom of a day care center and touched the child's genitals, per a court document obtained by ESPN. The child said Goularte said not to tell anyone what happened and that this had occurred "100 times." In the court document, the child said he witnessed other kids go into the bathroom with Goularte, too.

Goularte has denied any wrongdoing, saying he once helped a child with his pants when he saw the child didn't have them on correctly. Goularte lives in the same building as the day care center, which is owned by his mother, according to the court document. Goularte's mother told police she did not believe the allegations against her son.

Goularte's next court date is a plea hearing April 13, per court records.

Velasquez is a former two-time UFC heavyweight champion. He retired from MMA in 2019 and had a brief stint in WWE before being released at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Velasquez has been coaching at his longtime American Kickboxing Academy gym in San Jose.

Geragos, Velasquez's attorney, has also represented Michael Jackson, Chris Brown and Scott Peterson.