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Compatriot Says 'Upstanding' Varlamov is Innocent

The embattled Varlamov, goalie for the Colorado Avalanche is congragulated by the team mascot after a win against the Dallas Stars in October. Michael Martin

COLUMBUS — Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fyodor Tyutin has insisted Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov is innocent of the kidnapping and assault charges against him and that he is in fact the real victim of unjust U.S. laws.

Varlamov, 25, had a $5,000 bond posted at his Denver County Court arraignment on Thursday, when he was officially read the charges that allegedly relate to an incident involving his girlfriend earlier in the week.

"I'm well acquainted personally with Semyon," Tyutin said Tuesday. "He's a pretty upstanding, tactful guy. When I heard all this, I immediately understood it was blown out of proportion."

"It's just that American laws are on the woman's side, so they can go to the police over some tiny thing, make a complaint and cause a lot of problems for the male gender. So Semyon's only mistake was that he got together with this girl."

The Denver Post has posted a video interview with Russian model Yevgenia Vavrinyuk, who said Varlamov kicked her in the chest and knocked her down, then stomped on her while she was on the ground. Vavrinyuk said it was the fifth time Varlamov had assaulted her, but the first time it had happened in the U.S., where she felt able to inform the authorities.

The charge of second-degree kidnapping is a felony that carries a maximum six-year prison term, while the assault charge is a misdemeanor. A second so-called advisement hearing was set for Nov. 14, when Varlamov will be able to enter a plea if charged.

News of Varlamov's arrest sent shockwaves in his native Russia and even prompted speculation from a nationalist parliamentarian that it was part of a plot to sabotage Russia's tilt at men's hockey gold at the Sochi 2014 Olympics in February.

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