Cain Velasquez pleads not guilty to attempted murder charge

Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez on Friday pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and gun assault charges in a San Jose courtroom.

Velasquez, 39, entered the plea at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice. A pre-trial hearing was set for September 26.

Velasquez is accused of trying to kill the man he alleges molested his 4-year-old son.

Velasquez was arrested in San Jose last February after he shot at a pickup truck carrying the man through busy streets in three Silicon Valley cities, ramming the vehicle with his own truck during a high-speed chase, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the defendant fired a .40-caliber pistol at the vehicle several times, wounding the man’s stepfather, who was driving, in his arm and torso.

He was denied bail twice, most recently in May.

In late June, the former pro-fighter filed a civil lawsuit against the man accused of sexually abusing his 4-year-old son. The suit alleges that Harry Goularte molested the boy while he was attending daycare at a home by Goularte’s mother, Patricia Goularte, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The news outlet said the lawsuit was filed on behalf of a minor. Harry Goularte was living at the home and working for the daycare during the time of the alleged molestation, according to the court filing.

The child care business and its owners "fostered and maintained an environment" where the children could be molested, sexually abused and harassed, Velasquez said in the court filing. The lawsuit accuses Goularte and his family of negligence and sexual battery.

Goularte, 43, was charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a minor by the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office. He has pleaded not guilty and the trial is scheduled for September.

Velasquez transitioned to pro wrestling after retiring from his MMA career in 2019. A former two-time UFC heavyweight champion, he earned title belts in 2010 and 2012.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.