The couple who were allegedly attacked by Chael Sonnen have sued the former UFC star, as well as accused the Clark County District Attorney’s Office and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department of a number of failures following the incident.
Last December, police were called to the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Vegas to detain Sonnen, who challenged for gold in two weight divisions during his time in the Octagon. According to a vacationing couple, an intoxicated Sonnen attacked them whilst they were returning to their hotel room.
Earlier this year, the couple who claim to have been the victims of an unprovoked attack from Sonnen described the ordeal, which they said included elbows on the ground to Chris Stellpflug and punches to the head of Julie Stellpflug.
Now, during a sit-down interview with KSBY, the Stellpflugs have recalled the incident and its aftermath, highlighting what they perceive to have been a number of failures from Nevada authorities.
Providing more context to the severity of the alleged assault, Chris said that he thought Sonnen was going to kill both him and his wife during the rampage, which the former UFC and Bellator fighter admitted he can’t remember having taken Ambien earlier in the day.
“I just think, this guy’s gonna kill me right now and he’s gonna turn around and kill my wife. My kids are gonna have no parents.”
Stellpflugs: Sonnen’s Release Was The First Failure
Given the severity of the alleged assault and revelations that Sonnen was also accused of attacking two other guests, multiple security guards, and another individual who attempted to tear him away from the Stellpflugs, the couple expected Sonnen to be arrested.
Chris suggested that the fact the MMA star was cited and released because it was a “misdemeanor battery that did not occur in police presence” was the first major failure from law enforcement.
“We were sure from the police that he would be arrested. And that was the first failure, is that they let him go,” Chris said.
While five misdemeanor citations were later filed against Sonnen by police, a judge dismissed them all. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office was quoted by KSBY as having insisted that it “played absolutely no role in the unilateral decision by the sitting judge to dismiss the citations.”
While the DA’s office did later charge Sonnen with 10 misdemeanor counts of battery, as well as one felony count of battery by strangulation, in March, the amended criminal complaint that was filed displayed only six misdemeanor counts.
In an email sent to KSBY, who enquired about the reduced charges, Assistant District Attorney Robert Daskas insisted the updated counts were based on charges that the LVMPD had requested the DA’s office to prosecute based on its findings.
“Following the unexpected dismissal of the citations by the judge, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department submitted a request directly to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office in February 2022 to prosecute Chael Sonnen for six (6) counts of misdemeanor battery. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office approved charges against Chael Sonnen, and there is currently a criminal complaint filed against Chael Sonnen for six (6) counts of misdemeanor battery. These are the precise charges the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department requested the District Attorney’s Office to prosecute based on Metro’s investigation, which included interviews of all victims (including the Stellpflugs).”
Stellpflugs Slam Legal System For Favoritism, DA’s Office Hits Back
Having seen what they allege to have been a brutal and traumatic assault be entirely dismissed before brought back with reduced counts, the Stellpflugs were left feeling mistreated.
Chris even accused the police and DA’s office of granting Sonnen ‘celebrity treatment’, warning others to be careful when heading to Vegas incase incidents like theirs are brushed under the carpet.
“We had to bring light to the subject and let them know what happened and how it’s not right. Be careful when you go to Vegas because if you end up with any altercation with a pseudo-celebrity, the DA is not gonna be there for you. The cops are not gonna be there for you,” Chris said.
In a response to the claims, the DA’s office told KSBY that it vehemently refutes the claims, suggesting that it’s “outrageous” for anyone to accuse the DA’s office of showing “special treatment” to anyone based on their celebrity status.
“It is outrageous to suggest that a retired MMA fighter, or anyone else for that matter, is getting ‘special treatment’ because he is a known public figure. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office played absolutely no role in the unilateral decision by the sitting judge to dismiss the citations.
“In fact, the District Attorney’s Office remedied that decision by approving the precise charges against Chael Sonnen that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department requested based on Metro’s investigation, which included interviews of all victims (including the Stellpflugs).”
Having been left infuriated by how the case has unfolded, and with their legal team acknowledging that the charges brought against Sonnen are entirely down to the DA’s office, the Stellpflugs have decided to sue Sonnen in civil court. While the former fighter won’t be serving jail time if found liable — the form of justice that the couple were initially pursuing — the Stellpflugs could be awarded significant damages.
Ultimately, it will not be the outcome the pair target, having claimed to be the victim of a cage fighter using their weapons beyond the steel surroundings within which they are permitted.
“His goal is to beat people into submission and to use his skills outside of the cage on regular people — I think that’s why for us we wanted to have just the fullest extent applied to him.”
As of now, Sonnen is still yet to publicly comment on the incident and subsequent allegations, but he was suspended indefinitely from ESPN broadcasting duties in the aftermath.
According to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, a criminal complaint status check is scheduled for today, with the expectation being that a misdemeanor trial will eventually be set.
What do you make of the developments since Chael Sonnen’s alleged attack on the Stellpflugs?
All quotes via KSBY