DENVER - Despite facing serious charges of kidnapping and assault, Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov will start tonight against the Dallas Stars, according to Altitude TV.
Just hours after appearing in court wearing a yellow jumpsuit and shackles, Varlamov was whisked away by a black car and taken to Denver International Airport for a flight to Dallas. He was granted permission to travel and released on $5,000 bond.
During Thursday's court hearing, attorney Jack Rotole asked the judge to allow Varlamov to travel across the country and into Canada without restrictions.
"He's not a flight risk. He resides here during the season. He has the total support of the Colorado Avalanche," Rotole said.
7NEWS legal analyst Kris Miccio says the decision to allow Varlamov to travel to Dallas for Friday's game in not out of the norm.
"If the judge believes he's not a flight risk, there's no reason not to release him on his own recognizance," she said.
Miccio says Varlamov's attorney had to present evidence as to why his client won't flee. In addition, the goalie had to agree to conditions, such as no contact with the victim.
"I would think the judge is thinking he's going to be surrounded by his team mates, his coaches and that he will be coming back on the same plane with them," she said.
Another lingering question is Varlamov’s legal status. It is not clear if he is a Russian citizen or has dual citizenship in the United States. Many young Russian hockey players what’s known as a P1-A visa, which is designed for international professional athletes. It requires an applicant to prove their skill and affiliation with a professional team. Visas can be revoked for criminal convictions of even less severe crimes.
Speaking to the media Thursday morning, Avalanche Head Coach Patrick Roy referenced the case against Varlamov.
"We’re going to take it one day at a time like we have been doing it all year long ... It’s important that for me as a coach that I keep my focus on our team," Roy said.
"We can make a decision on how we will deal with the situation (later Thursday afternoon)," Roy said. "I would prefer for us to see what’s going to transpire from the decision of the judge and hearing from the lawyer. We'll let you know more after."
The victim, Evgeniya Vavrinyuk, agreed to interviews Thursday. Through a translator, she told 7NEWS reporter Amanda Kost she decided to come forward now to make the world know "what he really is and what he's capable of."
According to an affidavit, Varlamov knocked Vavrinyuk down with a kick to the chest, repeatedly stomped on her chest and then dragged her into another room by her hair.
Vayrinyuk said that during the assault, "he was having a lot of fun. He was laughing."
Varlamov has not yet entered a plea in the case.