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Voynov case highlights exception allowing court to compel domestic victims to testify against spouses




Slava Voynov #26 of the Los Angeles Kings and family celebrate after the Kings win the Stanley Cup after defeating the Rangers 3-2 in double overtime during Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Slava Voynov #26 of the Los Angeles Kings and family celebrate after the Kings win the Stanley Cup after defeating the Rangers 3-2 in double overtime during Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
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Los Angeles Kings player Slava Voynov is accused of beating his wife, Marta Varlamova, at their Redondo Beach home in October.

At a hearing today, the lawyer for Varlamova said that she does not want to testify against Voynov without providing a reason. But a prosecutor in the case said that Varlamova is legally obligated to do so.

In a criminal trial or a grand jury proceeding, a spouse cannot be compelled to testify against his or her spouse, but there is an exception in cases of domestic violence. If Varlamova refuses to testify, she could face sanctions from the judge in the form of house arrest or a fine, but not jail time.

Guest:

Krista Niemczyk, Public Policy Manager at the statewide nonprofit California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. She is an expert of domestic violence laws in California

Gail Pincus, Executive Director of the Domestic Abuse Center, a nonprofit which works with victims of domestic violence in Van Nuys. She is also a clinical social worker and she provides expert court testimonies on intimate partner battering and its effects.