Riquna Williams still barred from Aces after charges dropped

Alexa Philippou, ESPNSep 8, 2023, 10:04 PM ET

CloseCovers women’s college basketball and the WNBA
Previously covered UConn and the WNBA Connecticut Sun for the Hartford Courant
Stanford graduate and Baltimore native with further experience at the Dallas Morning News, Seattle Times and Cincinnati Enquirer

Las Vegas Aces guard Riquna Williams remains barred from team activities after a series of domestic violence-related charges she was facing were dropped Thursday.

“We’re aware of the charges being dropped, but her status with the Aces has not changed,” Las Vegas coach Becky Hammon said Friday before the Aces took on the Phoenix Mercury in their penultimate regular-season game. “We will move forward trying to win these next two games and going into the playoffs.”

Hammon reiterated the organization’s statement at the time of Williams’ arrest in July, which said: “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.”

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The chargers were dropped after Williams’ wife, who authorities said was the victim in a domestic violence incident at their home, stopped cooperating with prosecutors ahead of a preliminary hearing to determine if the case should go to trial. Deputy Clark County District Attorney Taylor Reeves told Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Amy Wilson that prosecutors became unable to reach Williams’ wife, who moved to Florida after Williams’ arrest.

Williams’ attorney told reporters Thursday that Williams hoped to rejoin the team for the playoffs, as the Aces look to become the first WNBA team to repeat as champions in over two decades.

Williams, a key part of the team’s title run in 2022, had not played for the Aces this season prior to her arrest because of a back injury. She is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The former University of Miami standout was facing five felony charges, including domestic battery by strangulation, coercion by force and assault with a weapon, as well as four misdemeanor domestic battery charges.

In 2019, when she was part of the Los Angeles Sparks, Williams served a 10-game league suspension after an arrest on domestic battery charges.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

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