Real Monarchs head coach Mark Briggs has been suspended by the USL team’s parent club, Real Salt Lake (MLS), after being charged with “multiple misdemeanor counts of domestic violence and reportedly trying to persuade his accuser to stop talking to police and prosecutors about her allegations,” according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Here’s more from the Tribune:
Mark Briggs, 36, is scheduled to appear in Draper’s justice court June 12 to answer the charges, including two counts of domestic assault, domestic violence in the presence of a child and witness tampering, according to court records. All are class B misdemeanors.
The Tribune said that they don’t usually identify alleged victims of domestic assault, but Briggs’ ex-partner Marissa Hankins gave the Tribune permission to use her name because she “believes the abuse won’t stop unless the accusations and her story come to light.”
The details of the first alleged incident — from August 2017 — are particularly disturbing.
In the August clash, Briggs and Hankins were lying in bed with their young daughter when Hankins attempted to grab Briggs’ cellphone so he would pay attention to her, she said.
“At that point,” Hankins said, “he jumped up off the bed, pulling his arm out from under our daughter. I jumped up at the same time. Once his feet [hit] the ground he lunged toward me, called me a ‘stupid f—— b—-‘ as he grabbed my neck with his right hand and my right shoulder with his left hand while pushing me toward our bathroom.”
The two struggled, Hankins said, and she fell on to a mirror, breaking it and hitting her head on the tile floor. Hankins alleges Briggs still had his hands around her throat, choking her.
“He was screaming and said, ‘If you ever f—ing lay a hand on her again, I’ll f—ing kill you.’ I am not 100 [percent] on exact wording of [what he said] but he absolutely said ‘I’ll f—ing kill you,’” Hankins said to police.
Additionally, Briggs allegedly had an agreement with Real Salt Lake, in which he was given $60,000 by a Real Salt like representative to “give to Hankins to relocate herself and her children outside Utah after the organization learned Briggs allegedly was having an affair with another woman.”
Hankins claims that Briggs had a contract written up to asking her to not speak with prosecutors and police in exchange for money.
Hankins told The Tribune that Briggs had a contract written up in December asking her to stop speaking with prosecutors and police in exchange for the money, which Hankins says wasn’t part of the original deal with Briggs’ employer.
The contract, provided to The Tribune by Hankins, designates that Hankins would receive $31,000 and alleges Briggs gave Hankins $19,000 during the week of Dec. 11 to 17.
By signing the contract, Hankins would have agreed to “not pursue any pending or future legal accusations stemming from any past incidents,” in addition to other requirements.
Oh, and the team has reportedly been aware of the allegations for months, but hadn’t punished Briggs because they “don’t believe the domestic violence accusations.”
A source close to the soccer team, who agreed to speak with The Tribune on background because the person wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, said the organization has known about the allegations for months but has thus far not punished Briggs because it doesn’t believe the domestic violence accusations.
“We have not seen any fire that begets all this smoke,” the source said.
Briggs has been Real Monarchs’ head coach since 2017 after a long professional soccer career in England and Denmark. Jamison Olave is taking over as the interim head coach for the Real Monarchs (located in Herriman, Utah).
The Tribune article features much, much more detail on the disturbing allegations, and the whole thing is well-worth a read.