New York, NY(Law Firm Newswire) March 7, 2016 – An Olympic skiing champion accused of domestic violence against her father says she will demand a jury trial, citing self-defense.
Picabo Street, 44, was arrested on December 23, 2015, after she called 911 during an altercation with her father, Roland Street, 76. She was charged with misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor domestic violence in the presence of a child.
“The outcome of a jury trial will likely hinge on eyewitness testimony,” said attorney Peter Brill, of Brill Legal Group, who is not involved in the case. “Neither Street nor her father are alleging any serious injury as a result of the altercation, so physical evidence is probably quite limited.”
The dispute began when Street tried to prevent her father from leaving the house in his car during a snowstorm, according to Street's attorney, Joe Wrona. The fight soon escalated to the point where Street wanted police involved. Street told 911 dispatchers that her father had scratched her face and pulled her hair. However, her mother can be heard in the background of the recorded call disputing that statement.
Picabo Street won the gold medal in the super giant slalom, or super G, at the 1988 Winter Olympics. She was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 2004.
In comments to the New York Daily News, Wrona seemed confident that a jury would see Street's actions as self-defense, saying he was eager to present his case in court. Wrona said he planned to call Picabo and Roland Street, as well as Picabo's mother, to the witness stand. He also cited video evidence in the form of recordings from cameras worn by officers responding to the scene. Wrona claimed the video shows the senior of the two officers “cajoling” the younger into making the arrest.
“Prosecutors will have their work cut out for them,” Brill said. “To convict Street, they have to convince jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that her actions were not justified as self-defense. Unless she was clearly the sole aggressor, a claim of self-defense has merit.”
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