Despite the UFC’s “third party,” “independent” investigation into B.J. Penn finding no reason to keep him off their schedule, the situation isn’t as closed as that might lead some to believe.
According to a report from MMAFighting.com, the Hilo Police Department in Hawaii has officially launched an investigation into the alleged August 2015 sexual assault of the girlfriend of former BJPenn.com editor Pedro Carrasco. A police report had been filed earlier this year in Soukup’s current home in Delaware County in Ohio following the allegations coming to light from Carrasco, but that report did not get to Hilo police until last week.
Penn is currently scheduled to face Dennis Siver at UFC 199 in June in Inglewood, Calif., though the UFC gave themselves an out by reserving the right to change their stance depending on any official charges being filed against the UFC Hall of Famer. Penn hasn’t fought since July of 2014, where he was beaten up and stopped by Frankie Edgar via third round TKO.
Penick’s Analysis: If the Hilo investigation leads to charges the UFC’s “third party” investigations will look like even more of a joke than many take them for already. Again, though there is certainly a minor possibility of a false claim given Carrasco’s soured relationship with Penn, the absence of prosecution on a sexual assault case isn’t total exoneration, especially given how weakly these cases are prosecuted and how few victims actually receive justice in this system. The UFC’s on shaky ground in this booking, and I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Penn winds up not fighting on June 4.
[Photo (c) Stephen R. Sylvanie via USA Today Sports]
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