In the last year, numerous sports figures -- particularly NFL players -- made headlines for allegedly committing acts of violence against their domestic partners. Public outcry across the country and here in New Jersey has put a spotlight on how sports organizations handle players who are accused of domestic violence. Recently, NASCAR driver Kurt Busch was indefinitely suspended from driving after an incident involving himself and an ex-girlfriend that occurred in the fall of 2014.
After hearing evidence from both sides, a family court judge recently determined that Busch most likely assaulted his ex-girlfriend and may become violent again in the future. The judge went on to say that he does not believe that Busch is a serial abuser but, rather, lashed out under stress. Accordingly, the judge indicated his belief that Busch could lash out again under the right circumstances.
Even though the judge found that the alleged victim lied about certain details, her testimony was still credible. He believes she did intentionally provide false information. Busch has denied the claims made by his ex-girlfriend. In fact, he wants to reopen the family court case because three people are now willing to come forward to contradict the alleged victim's testimony regarding her relationship with Busch. He is the first NASCAR driver to be suspended from the racing circuit for domestic violence, and it is not known what the racing organization will do if he is found guilty of any charges that could be filed as a result of the ongoing criminal investigation.
Victims of domestic violence have fought long and hard to be heard, and this suspension may be seen as a step in the right direction. In New Jersey and elsewhere, family court proceedings regarding domestic abuse can have far reaching consequences for the parties. Both sides may benefit from retaining experienced counsel to deal with these far-reaching family law issues.
Source: Fox News, "NASCAR suspends driver Kurt Busch over domestic violence allegations", Feb. 20, 2015