Former two-division Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder B.J. Penn will not face charges in a sexual assault case stemming from allegations levied against him by a former writer on his BJPenn.com website. TMZ on Monday reported that prosecutors indicated there was not sufficient evidence to prove that he attacked a woman last year.
The incident in question allegedly involved Penn and the 29-year-old woman on Aug. 31, 2015 in Hilo, Hawaii. Former BJPenn.com writer Pedro Alex Carrasco alleged on Twitter in February that the former UFC champion assaulted his girlfriend. The UFC hall of famer denied the allegations and claimed they were part of an extortion attempt.
According to a statement released through his website on Feb. 19, Penn claimed Carrasco had been fired from the website in 2015 for “unethical behavior” and given a severance package that ended on Feb. 16 -- the day before Carrasco went public with his accusations.
“The allegations that Pedro and his girlfriend are making against B.J. Penn simply aren’t true,” the statement read. “In the almost 15 years that Penn has been a champion fighter, there has not ever been any incident or allegation in regards to his conduct with women. He is [a] family man and father of two young daughters with a known long-term girlfriend. It is unfortunate that someone that B.J. considered family is trying to extort him.”
Penn has not fought since he suffered a third-round technical knockout loss to Frankie Edgar in July 2014. He remains one of two fighters -- Randy Couture is the other -- to capture UFC championships in multiple weight classes.