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Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic's assault case won't go to trial as judge refuses to allow 911 call

Boston Bruins player Milan Lucic's assault case dropped
Boston Bruins player Milan Lucic's assault case dropped 02:41

BOSTON - Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic's trial on an assault charge ended before it began Friday morning at Boston Municipal Court.

The judge denied the prosecution's request to include the 911 call from Lucic's wife as evidence. Lucic's wife also declined to testify, so with no evidence, prosecutors had no choice but to drop their case against Lucic. He had no comment for reporters outside of court.

Milan Lucic's arrest

Lucic, 35, was accused of assaulting his wife on November 18 at their apartment in Boston. Police went there after she called 911, saying he couldn't find his cell phone and started yelling at her, allegedly believing that she hid it.  The police report said when she tried to walk away, Lucic allegedly grabbed her by her hair and pulled her backwards. Officers said Lucic appeared drunk and they found a broken lamp in the bedroom.

Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic in Boston Municipal Court, February 16, 2024. CBS Boston

Lucic was arrested and later pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault and battery on a family member. 

The 911 call

The trial was set to start Friday morning. But before opening statements could be presented, there was a debate over the 911 call. Lucic's wife wasn't going to testify so prosecutor Samuel Jones filed a motion to have her 911 call from that night take the place of her testimony at trial.

The call was played in court as the judge considered the defense motion to dismiss it. The court went into recess and when the judge came back and ruled the call out, the prosecution dropped the charge.

"And what we have here is a situation where we have a 30-something year old woman, not a child, who's angry, perhaps has been in an argument with her husband," said defense attorney Gary Pelletier. "Who is now in the lobby and is now able to come in and basically make a statement. That she could have easily had time to fabricate."

The judge's decision

"When he made the decision that the 911 tape doesn't come in, it basically forces the Commonwealth, they have no witnesses. They have no witnesses who actually would be percipient to the event and that means that they had no case," Lucic's attorney Gary Pelletier told reporters.

"This situation is something prosecutors encounter quite often in matters involving domestic violence charges. We handled this case exactly as we would any other presenting a similar set of circumstances," James Borghesani, the spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden, said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Milan Lucic's future with the Bruins

After his arrest, Lucic was released and ordered to stay away from alcohol. He's on an indefinite leave of absence from the Bruins. He entered the NHL/NHLPA's player assistance program, which helps players and their families struggling with mental health, substance abuse and other issues. 

In a statement Friday, the Bruins said, "Milan Lucic will remain on indefinite leave from the organization for the remainder of the 2023-24 season. The Boston Bruins organization supports Milan and his family as he continues his personal rehabilitation."

Pelletier said Lucic did well in rehab and "took it very seriously."

"He's very happy obviously that this part is over. He wants to get on with his life. He wants to get on with his NHL playing career, hopefully with the Bruins, and back as fast as he possibly can," Pelletier said Friday.

Why domestic violence victims don't come forward

"The thing about domestic violence is it thrives in silence," said Debra Robbins, the head of Jane Doe Inc., a domestic violence prevention network in Massachusetts. She said it's not surprising Lucic's wife didn't come forward, especially since they're in the public eye.

"Feeling ashamed or embarrassed. There are a lot of stereotypes and myths and a lot of victim blaming that occurs."

Robbins said his wife's choice to stay silent should be respected.

"Every victim should be able to make their own choices about what they want to do."

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence please call 877-785-2020 or click here.

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