Monson’s Domestic Violence Charge Dismissed

By Loretta Hunt May 15, 2009
Domestic violence and property damage misdemeanor charges filed against former UFC heavyweight contender and professed anarchist Jeff Monson were dismissed by a Davie County judge on May 7 in Mocksville, N.C.

The court ruled the charges had been misclassified as a domestic case under state law and Monson had been improperly held at the time of his arrest, according to Davie and Davidson County District Attorney Garry Frank. Monson spent five days in the Davies County Detention Center.

Monson was arrested on Jan. 19 at the residence of Stephanie Trapani, 30, for “assault to a female” and “damage to real property or personal property” following an alleged domestic dispute. At the time, officers described Trapani and Monson as having a “dating relationship.”

Monson, 37, has been married for 16 years and has two children in Olympia, Wash., where he resides.

Trapani was also arrested for injury to personal property when she allegedly tossed Monson’s cell phone out of her car after finding out he was involved in romantic relationships with other women. That charge was also dropped on May 7. A felony charge of identity theft, where Monson accused Trapani of using his bank card and security code without permission, was dismissed on July 1, according to the Davie County Clerk's Office.

In a January interview with The Olympian, Trapani said Monson “… destroyed my house. He started just bashing holes in the walls and the columns," during the dispute.

Trapani also claimed that Monson had grabbed her. Trapani was granted a domestic violence order of protection by a district court judge through January 26, 2010.

“I made the mistake of breaking her clock and her computer, but I never touched her,” Monson told on Tuesday. “I never actually made physical contact with her.”

Monson said he felt vindicated with the court’s ruling to drop both charges.

“It’s just not in my character to do these things,” said Monson. “It’s been hard on my family. It’s been on hard on me. The allegation was completely unfounded and untrue.”

The world-champion grappler still faces a first-degree malicious mischief charge for spray-painting the peace sign, the anarchy symbol, and the phrases “No war” and “No poverty” on the Washington state’s capital building on Nov. 26.

ESPN The Magazine documented Monson’s protest while trailing the politically minded fighter for a feature that ran in its Dec. 29 issue. Monson was photographed defacing the monument in one of the article’s accompanying photographs, which led officials to their suspect. The act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Monson (30-8) pleaded not guilty on Jan. 27, but was asked to surrender his passport to the court. He has been able to recover it for work-related activities, and has since fought twice outside the country, including a first-round submission victory over Sergei Kharitonov (16-4) at Dream 8 on April 5 in Japan.

Monson said a hearing for the vandalism charge is scheduled for Aug. 17.

This article was updated on Sept. 1 to note that Trapani's felony charge was dismissed on July 1.

Editor's Note: This article was updated at 7:43 p.m. ET on May 21 to include information regarding Trapani's order of protection, after additional documentation was procured.
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