Aces’ Riquna Williams arrested, facing 9 domestic battery charges

Jul 26, 2023, 03:47 PM ET

Riquna Williams, a veteran WNBA player and a member of last year’s championship-winning Las Vegas Aces, has been barred from the team after her arrest Tuesday on felony domestic violence charges involving a person authorities say is her spouse.

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.

A judge on Wednesday allowed Williams, 33, to be released from jail without bail less than a day after her arrest but said that she can have no contact with her spouse and must comply with alcohol monitoring pending another court appearance on Aug. 2.

The Aces have barred Williams from team activities while the team gathers more information on the arrest.

“The Las Vegas Aces were made aware of domestic violence charges against a member of our team, Riquna Williams,” the team said Wednesday in a statement. “As an organization, we condemn domestic violence of any kind. At this time, Riquna Williams will be precluded from participating in team activities. Our thoughts are with the parties involved in this situation. We are currently gathering more information, and as such we will not have any further comments at this time.”

“We are aware of the alleged incident and are in the process of gathering more information,” the WNBA added in a statement Wednesday.

According to the police report, Williams accused her spouse of being unfaithful in their marriage. Before leaving to stay in a hotel, Williams took several of her spouse’s personal belongings, including a cellphone, which she later logged into. After allegedly finding evidence of cheating in the phone, Williams returned to the residence, where an argument ensued. During the dispute, Williams allegedly punched and kicked her spouse and also attempted to strangle her.

Williams then left the residence, according to her spouse, who said she waited several hours before calling police after not having the courage to contact them initially, according to the report. Williams’ spouse told police the alleged assault lasted approximately one hour. Officers said they observed injuries to the victim’s throat, eyebrow area and thumb.

Williams’ public defender, Ryan Bashor, told the judge that his client has lived in Nevada for five years and that “there should be no issue with a no-contact order” since the alleged victim “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.

Justice of the Peace Rebecca Saxe noted the charges stemmed from acts that police said “occurred over an extended period of time.”

“We’ve been advised of the situation involving one of our members from the Las Vegas Aces,” Women’s National Basketball Players Association executive director Terri Jackson said in a statement to ESPN on Wednesday. “We are monitoring the situation and have no further comment at this time.”

Williams had previously been suspended 10 games by the WNBA in 2019 while a member of the Los Angeles Sparks after a domestic violence incident in Florida involving an ex-girlfriend that led to Williams’ arrest on felony charges.

Williams, who was drafted out of Miami in 2012 and has been with the Aces since 2021, had yet to appear in the 2023 WNBA season while dealing with a lower back injury.

ESPN’s Alexa Philippou and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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