WNBA’s Riquna Williams barred from Aces after felony domestic violence arrest in Las Vegas
Jul 26, 2023, 11:57 AM | Updated: 12:54 pm
(AP Photo/Ken Ritter)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Riquna Williams, a veteran WNBA player and member of last year’s championship-winning Las Vegas Aces, has been barred from the team after her arrest on felony domestic violence charges involving a person authorities say is her spouse.
A judge on Wednesday allowed Williams, 33, to be freed from jail without bail less than a day after her arrest, but said she can have no contact with her alleged victim and must comply with alcohol monitoring pending another court appearance Aug. 2.
The Aces issued a statement acknowledging Williams’ arrest and saying that she is “precluded from participating in team activities.” The Aces are scheduled to play in Dallas on Sunday and were traveling Wednesday.
“We condemn domestic violence of any kind,” the team said. “Our thoughts are with the parties involved in this situation.”
Williams faces five felony charges including multiple counts of domestic battery by strangulation, coercion with the threat or use of physical force and assault with use of a weapon, according to court records. She also faces four misdemeanor domestic battery charges.
Williams, a shooting guard and on-court role-player nicknamed “Bay Bay,” averaged 6.7 points last season but has not played during the current season due to a back injury.
She stood silently in shackles behind security glass during her initial appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court.
Her public defender, Ryan Bashor, told the judge that Williams has lived in Nevada for five years and “there should be no issue with a no-contact order” since the person Williams is accused of attacking “is in the process or has already relocated” out of the house.
Prosecutor Glen O’Brien cited what he called “violence and damage to the victim” but did not identify the person. It was not clear if the person was injured or required medical treatment.
Justice of the Peace Rebecca Saxe noted that the charges stemmed from acts that police said “occurred over an extended period of time.”
O’Brien remained in court and did not respond to an email seeking detail about the Williams’ case and the weapon that police said was involved.
Police responded about noon Tuesday to a call at a home in the upscale Southern Highlands enclave south of the Las Vegas Strip. An arrest report was not immediately released.
Williams faced league discipline in 2019 — a 10-game suspension without pay, or about one-third of the season — after an arrest on domestic-battery charges. She was playing for the Los Angeles Sparks at the time.
Among other factors, the league said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including involvement of a gun.
Bashor and Saxe said Wednesday that Williams had no criminal convictions.
Williams played for the University of Miami before she was drafted in 2012 by the Tulsa Shock. She also has played professionally overseas.
Associated Press sports writer Mark Anderson in Las Vegas contributed to this report.